Ravens corner Dominique Franks getting up to speed after rough start to camp
By By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun|
Jul 29, 2014 | 8:34 AM
Veteran cornerback Dominique Franks regards the Ravens' conditioning test as grueling enough that he doesn't want to ever have to run it again.
After initially not passing the series of timed interval runs at the start of training camp, Franks eventually passed and was activated from the nonfootball injury list Sunday after missing three days of practice.
"I didn't know it would be that tough," Franks said Monday night following a practice at M&T Bank Stadium. "I learned on the first day. Whoo! I definitely know now. If I'm able to sign back here, I'll definitely be coming in the offseason program so I won't have to run it again."
The Ravens don't require players to take the conditioning test when reporting to training camp if they participate in a high percentage of the team's offseason training program.
Signed in June following a minicamp tryout, Franks is now able to practice and has been absorbing the Ravens' defense after being signed in June following a minicamp tryout.
There's an opportunity for someone to grab the Ravens' third cornerback spot, and Franks is among the competitors.
"It's going well," Franks said. "It's pretty much the same coverages I've always been playing. It's about getting the verbiage down, so I can play the right coverages.
"It's coming along great. All the guys are helping me out. There's always going to be competition anywhere. The best players are going to play."
The Ravens need some depth at cornerback since veteran Aaron Ross is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Plus, third cornerback Chykie Brown has struggled during the start of camp and repeatedly has been beaten on double-moves for touchdowns.
Franks was signed in June following an audition that included himself, Drayton Florence, Marquice Cole, Bobby Felder, Ross and Kevin Thomas.
"He didn't jump out in a negative way," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said following Franks' first practice Sunday. "Dominique didn't, so that's positive for a corner. And we're happy to get him out there, because we needed the legs out there, and he's a talented guy."
Franks, 26, is a 2010 Atlanta Falcons fifth-round draft pick from Oklahoma. The 6-foot, 197-pound defensive back has recorded 30 tackles, three interceptions and nine passes defended in four NFL seasons, including four starts.
Now that he's starting to get up to speed with the Ravens after a rough start, Franks is hoping to contribute.
"It felt great," Franks said. "It was a long offseason not knowing how things would pan out. Being able to come to this organization is great. They have a lot of tradition and I'm just glad they gave me an opportunity to come here."