Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is in a new city, playing in a new offense, surrounded by new teammates.
What’s surprised him the most about his radically altered environs?
“The sun did yesterday,” he said Saturday, at the end of his second day in the team’s rookie minicamp. “That was the only thing I was surprised about.”
Temperatures in Baltimore hit 91 degrees Friday, breaking a record high for the third straight day. And while the heat cooled off in time for Saturday’s late-morning, early-afternoon practice in Owings Mills, Ravens rookies said the first signs of a muggy Maryland summer took some getting used to.
“That caught me off guard yesterday,” Ravens first-round draft pick and tight end Hayden Hurst said of the practice, which was closed to the media. “It was like 95 out here. Reminded me of back home.” (Hurst grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., where on Saturday afternoon temperatures were in the 80s and the humidity was over 50 percent.)
Fourth-round linebacker Kenny Young said Friday that combine training, the focus of prospects’ pre-draft process, and football conditioning are “totally different.” But coach John Harbaugh said Saturday he was encouraged by how many players arrived in playing shape.
“That's one thing you always kind of concern yourself with,” Harbaugh said. “A lot of guys have been traveling quite a bit, and we didn't have any issues with guys not being in shape and ready to go. We had nothing from the rookies as far as any major or any soft-tissue [injuries] or anything like that, and we went pretty hard. So that was good to see.”
The Ravens couldn’t stay away from Matt Elam for long. More than a year after parting ways with the injury-plagued, twice-arrested first-round pick, the Ravens had another player of the same name at minicamp Saturday. This Matt Elam doesn’t play safety; he’s 6 feet 7, 360 pounds and played nine games at defensive tackle for Kentucky last season. … Harbaugh said wide receiver Jordan Lasley showed his athleticism Saturday and was "fun to be around." The fifth-round pick had 69 catches for 1,264 yards and nine touchdowns last season, but he also ran into trouble with the law and UCLA coaches during his Bruins career. “Smooth, quick, made a couple of catches out there,” Harbaugh said. “Loves to play. Loves to practice.” … Hurst and Mark Andrews said their respective skills at tight end should complement each other’s on the field, but Harbaugh seemed more struck by their similarities. “They want to know every answer,” he said. “They want to know every detail of every play — sometimes to the point where you just want to say, 'Hey, just play fast. You're not going to know everything right now.' But they're conscientious guys that way.”