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Baltimore Sun

Early signs of teamwork

It doesn't always happen this way, but Ravens veterans were offering advice to the rookies and young guys whenever they could during last week's minicamp. It happened even when the long-term result might not be beneficial for the veteran.

Nose guard Art Jones, a steal in the fifth round, told how he got help from guys like Kelly Talavou and Kelly Gregg. Talavou, a genuine good guy, was inactive for 12 games last year and played in only three. His position on the roster is precarious, at best. But he helped Jones, and so did Gregg, a 33-year-old vet for whom the clock is running.

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Jarret Johnson and Antwan Barnes were at Sergio Kindle's ear during camp, giving the second-round pick lots of pointers at outside linebacker. Johnson has emerged as one of the most unheralded, solid players on the team the past two seasons and is coming off shoulder surgery. He'll be affected by Kindle's presence in that he'll probably play inside more in the 3-4 and could rush the passer less. Still, he was quick with advice.

Kindle said Barnes helped him with rushing the quarterback. Barnes had a hard time getting into games early in the year and was inactive five games.

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Those weren't the only cases of veteran helping rookie, of course. It was pretty much across the board. It's great for team chemistry, but also a sign that the veterans understand the rookies can help push them over the top in the quest for the Super Bowl. Good teams have it. Bad teams don't know what it is.


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