The Baltimore Football Club took its training camp from Towson State to Memorial Stadium, where the team practiced yesterday in front of about 300 fans who turned out for Family Fun Day. Players signed autographs for 30 minutes after practice.
"This is exciting, enjoyable football," said Tim Bradin, a Hamilton resident who came to see the team for the first time since last fall. "These guys just want to play football. It's good to see them back. They look like they are in good shape."
The same goes for the stadium's new turf, which players were able to test for the first time. Two months ago, the old turf was removed and replaced by Tufcote Bermuda grass. An improved drainage system was part of the refitting.
"It was nice and soft, felt really good," offensive tackle Shar Pourdanesh said. "It will make a difference."
Turf OK with Pringle
Running back Mike Pringle rushed for 1,972 yards and was the league's top runner last year, but he won't miss the old turf. Pringle, who came to camp in terrific shape, missed the team's first playoff game last year with a groin pull that he said was caused by the turf.
"Our surface was kind of mushy and it didn't drain very well," Pringle said. "I planted to go one way and my leg stayed put. I did a split, and I can't do a split."
In yesterday's no-huddle drills, wide receiver Shannon Culver leaped high to make two impressive catches of Dan Crowley passes. Rookie slot back Chris Beatty then stretched out to make a nice grab of a throw by Shawn Jones. . . . Cornerback Karl Anthony sat out for the second day with a strained calf muscle. . . . Offensive lineman Mike Withycombe missed the workout with a sore back. . . . The team will resume practice today at Towson, with its only workout at 9 a.m. The next three days will be the last of two-a-days -- 9 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.