Ravens all business when minicamp begins today


Putting the finishing touches on their offense and defense will be the focus of the Ravens' only mandatory minicamp of the offseason, which runs from today through Thursday.

Unlike other teams around the league, the Ravens won't have to worry about the distractions of no-shows because everyone reported to last week's voluntary workouts.

The only excused absences this week are: running back Jamal Lewis, who has to remain in Atlanta to complete his federal drug conspiracy sentence; linebacker Terrell Suggs, who is scheduled to go on trial today in Phoenix, Ariz., for two counts of felony aggravated assault; and kicker Matt Stover, who is missing for personal reasons.

"That shows our commitment we have to the season," defensive end Tony Weaver said. "We expect big things, and right now we're showing it by our attendance at minicamp."

Ravens coach Brian Billick said he expects to have all of the basic concepts of the offense and defense in place before the end of this week's camp.

The team won't reconvene again until players report for training camp July 31.

"The idea is you go into training camp with everything installed, which allows you to start at a pretty good pace," Billick said.

Billick has been pleased by his team's workouts this offseason, especially the impromptu ones.

For the past two months, the Ravens' quarterbacks and receivers have met twice a week at the training complex, tossing the ball around on the practice fields.

Based on that routine, Billick has thought about removing the traditional two passing camps from next year's offseason schedule.

That would leave the Ravens with just three formal camps: a rookie one after the draft and two full-team ones in June.

"If I don't have to have a passing camp because they're getting what they need to get done on their own, then all the better," Billick said. "This is one of the byproducts of having stability at the quarterback position."

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