With eight-time Pro Bowler Ed Reed absent from the Ravens' three-day, mandatory minicamp at the team's training facility in Owings Mills, Sean Considine has been lining up in Reed's customary spot as the defense's free safety.
It's a somewhat startling journey for Considine, who was signed by the organization on March 23. But the eight-year veteran, who has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, said he's grateful for the coaches' confidence in him to line up next to starting strong safety Bernard Pollard.
"It's been a good thing," Considine said Wednesday during the second day of the minicamp. "It's put a lot of pressure on me to come in here and learn this defense as fast as I can. The last thing you want to be is the new guy that gets thrown out there with the first team, filling in for a Hall of Famer like Ed Reed, and be the guy out there messing things up and not knowing what he's doing.
"I've put it upon myself to get in here and know this defense, and it's been a lot of fun because we have great teachers in this building, guys that have taught me the intricacies of this defense. I feel like even though I'm an eight-year guy and I feel like I know a lot about the game of football, I have learned a tremendous amount in the last nine weeks here, and it's been a really good thing."
This year has been much different for Considine, who was forced by the lockout to be a free agent until July when he agreed to a contract with Carolina and immediately flew to the team's training camp. By signing with the Ravens in March, Considine has been able to take advantage of using the extended time to get acclimated to his new surroundings.
"Last year, I was a free agent and ended up in Carolina on a last-second deal, and you go right to training camp and you're into the football season," Considine said. "I love this time of the year. This is an opportunity to come in and meet your teammates and spend time learning the defense and meeting your coaches and developing some team camaraderie. We didn't get a chance to do that last year, and being a new guy on this football team, it's just a great opportunity to come in here and kind of establish yourself a little bit, learn the game of football, and just prepare for a long and tough season."