"A couple days into it, even though we technically should be more tired, more fatigued, just because we’ve been practicing, I think we’ll start to feel better," Joe Flacco said about training camp. (Kevin Richardson)
Marshal Yanda is a farm boy from Iowa who grew up doing back-breaking chores at the break of dawn.
He's as gritty as it comes, playing through extreme pain and dishing out punishment as a technically sound, nasty blocker.
The Ravens' Pro Bowl right guard isn't necessarily comfortable with the high praise he's receiving with local media ranking him as the best player on the roster in an ESPN poll.
He's the last person to focus on his ranking in the popular Madden video game, which gave him a 98 grade overall out of a 100 for his mauling style.
His teammates, though, aren't shy about heaping on praise for the four-time Pro Bowl selection.
"This at the highest level, and he's one of the best guys out there in the league," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the beneficiary of Yanda's toughness. "So the way he just goes out there and how tough he is and how he, every single play, just physically gets after you, gets after you, gets after you, does everything he can from the beginning of the first quarter to the end of whenever it is.
"It's very impressive. I've been with him, obviously, my whole career.The physicality that he brings to the game, it's kind of weird to say, because that's all playing offensive line is, but he obviously just takes it up to another level."
Yanda is heading into the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract extension and no deal is imminent, according to NFL sources.
"He's just a special human being and a special player, and he's a Hall of Famer some day," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "And I'm sure glad he's on our team."
Yanda said how he's rated makes no difference to him. He's satisfied with knowing that he's done his job the right way.
"Obviously, I take pride in working hard and being the best player I can be, but I'm more worried about the football team and us as an offensive line and us as an offense more than that," Yanda said. "You just go out here and do your job every day to the best of your ability, and you try to be great.
"I'm not going to lie; I come out here, and I want to be great in everything I do. So, you just work your tail off and you hope that happens."