BLOG: Ravens first open practice

BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Monday night fans packed into M&T Bank stadium to see their beloved Ravens. It's one of three open practices the team is holding this preseason.

Ever since the Baltimore Ravens moved training camp from Westminster back to their headquarters in Owings Mills only a limited number of fans are able to attend practice.

The rain held off for the first hour and a half of practice, but once the drops came it didn't dampen the spirit of the 28,000 plus fans in attendance.

Before practice began, the Ravens debuted their new National Anthem Singer. Joey Odoms, a Baltimore Native and member of the National Guard was chosen from eight contestants to replace Mishael Miller as the only the second anthem singer since 1996.

Once warm-ups began the crowd let a huge roar when Joe Flacco's face appeared on the jumbotron, they even let out a loud cheer when running back Ray Rice was featured.

By far the loudest support of all, though, was for number 52. Ray Lewis making a guest appearance, was hanging out on the sidelines with owner Steve Bisciotti, checking out his former team. Lewis will be immortalized this season. The Ravens plan to build a statue of Lewis next to the one of Johnny Unitas outside the stadium.

During practice, Lewis was asked about the honor. "Most of the time, I'm never lost for words, but that's a very humbling thing."

Bisciotti and Lewis were riding around in a golf cart, and at one point they nearly avoided a collision. During a play, Matt Elam intercepted Joe Flacco, ran it back and almost ran into the cart.

It's a treat for the thousands of fans in attendance to see their team in action, but most of the excitement comes at the end when the players go around signing autographs for the young kids in the stands.

Tight End Owen Daniels enjoyed his first experience in front of the Ravens Fans.

He said afterwards, "It was awesome. I could tell when I signed that Ravens had a great fan base and this is a prime example of it. Coming out here and watching us at camp. It's a great turnout, great energy, helps us get through it"

Receiver Jacoby Jones was furiously signing autographs "It's fun, they gave us energy. It's camp life but coming out here, everyone going wild it feels like a game atmosphere. ..The Fans give you life."

The Ravens have Tuesday off before getting back to work in Owings Mills Wednesday afternoon.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment