By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun
9:04 PM EDT, May 23, 2011
A select group of Ravens — primarily offensive skill players — will gather at Towson University on Tuesday for the first of three straight days of closed conditioning drills.
Quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receivers Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin will be there.
Linebacker Ray Lewis will not.
With the NFL lockout in its second month, this is what passes for a passing camp this spring: receivers and quarterbacks working on the passing game, rookies included. But there won't be any offense vs. defense drills.
Mason, who made the connection with Towson officials to gain use of the Tigers' facilities, said 20 to 25 players will be in attendance, including wide receiver Torrey Smith, the Ravens' second-round pick out of Maryland.
To get his first real taste of the pro passing game, sixth-round quarterback Tyrod Taylor will participate, too. Other rookies expected to work are wide-out Tandon Doss (fourth-round pick) and running back Anthony Allen (seventh round).
"We want to get the guys together and work hard on conditioning," Mason said. "Then we'll throw the football a little."
Mac James of Athletic Dominance, a certified strength and conditioning coach for several NFL players, will direct the conditioning work.
Because Towson is holding commencement ceremonies Wednesday and Thursday, the informal workouts are closed to the public and media will be able to watch only one day.
Mason is most appreciative of the support the players received from the university. "We couldn't have asked for anything more. They are under such stress this week with graduating ceremonies, and they still opened it up to us," he said.
Give an assist to Towson football coach Rob Ambrose, who worked behind the scenes to give the players a campus opening during a hectic week.
"You would think it's not a big deal, but there was a lot of red tape to work through," Ambrose said. "But you know how it was possible? The ties of a football player. You don't know how deep that runs. We help each other."
The Ravens players are the latest in a growing circle of teams that have launched offseason workouts in the face of the lockout. New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez recently paid for his receivers and running backs to travel to Southern California for drills.
Players are awaiting a verdict from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the legality of the work stoppage enforced by the owners back in April. The 8th Circuit will hear the appeal June 3.
The Ravens who participate this week will have access to the Tigers' practice field, weight room, training room cold tub and sauna. Certified trainers and medical staff will be on site for all three workouts.
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