www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-saturdays-practice-could-test-younger-players-20120803,0,4089726.story

baltimoresun.com

Saturday's practice could test younger players

Rookies and newcomers could use practice at M&T Bank Stadium as opportunity to get accustomed to playing in front of an NFL fanbase

By Edward Lee

8:00 AM EDT, August 4, 2012

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Saturday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium is the Ravens’ first in front of the kind of turnout the team got when training camp was held at McDaniel College in Westminster. A large turnout of fans is expected to descend upon the stadium for the scheduled 5 p.m. start.

But the practice is also an opportunity for some of the team’s rookies and newcomers to get accustomed to playing in front of a large, rabid crowd. Coach John Harbaugh said he’s hoping the younger players get any butterflies out of their system before Thursday night’s preseason opener at the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s a practice, yes, but it’s a ramped-up environment,” he said after Friday’s practice. “Last year, some of our young guys went into that stadium atmosphere, who had been practicing well, and didn’t practice so well. The environment got them. So it’s a chance for them to get into that different kind of setting – it’s a little bit bigger than the practice field out here – and perform in that kind of a setting, be able to just take the whole thing, internalize it back to your own performance, cut that crowd out of it and play football.”