We learned quite a few things from the first day of mandatory minicamp yesterday, and there were some great sound bites from the Ravens press conference as well. One of the most significant came when Haloti Ngata shared his thoughts on a possible contract extension. Despite having two years left on the $61 million dollar contract he signed in 2011, rumor has it the Ravens have reached out to Ngata about a possible extension.
“I would love to be a Raven for life. If we can get something done, that would be great. We’ll just let my agent and Ozzie take care of that business off the field.” The All-Pro defensive lineman is 30 years old and has struggled with injuries the last couple of years, but has worked to reduce body fat this offseason to help him make it through the coming season.
Elvis Dumervil is another Raven who came in to the offseason dissatisfied with his weight, but in this case felt like he needed to add some. Dumervil said he needed to bulk up to better handle the rigors of the AFC North, which he sees as a bit more rugged than the AFC West that his former team the Denver Broncos reside in. He may have a point here, but adding weight often negatively affects speed and is an unproven tactic in the world of pro football.
Dumervil also expressed dissatisfaction with the way last season went for himself and the defense as a whole, calling it “not good enough.” It’s good to see him hungry and motivated, as the entire defense looked like it was tired and old down the stretch last season.
The Texans cut quarterback T.J. Yates yesterday, which led many to speculate that he could end up in Baltimore with former coach Gary Kubiak. The Ravens are a little starved for depth behind disapointing Tyrod Taylor, and Yates knows Kubiak’s system. Yates also led the Texans to their first playoff win in team history back in 2011, but has done little since and couldn’t beat out Case Keenum last year.
Bleacher Report is breaking down all the free agent additions the Ravens have made, from Owen Daniels to Steve Smith to Justin Forsett. It will be interesting to see just how many targets Daniels and Smith see this season. In a run heavy offense, there won’t be a lot of balls to go around. I don’t expect big numbers from either but the preseason process should give us some clues on their usage.
Aaron Wilson at the Baltimore Sun reports that center Jeremy Zuttah is settling in nicely with the offense. Zuttah’s adjustment to a new team and new system is an underrated component of the Raven’s success this coming season. His former team, the Bucs, ran somewhat of a similar scheme so hopefully he can get acclimated quickly.
What did you think about the first day of camp?