REPORT DATES: July 22nd (rookies), July 25th (veterans)
SITE: Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, MD
CAMP OBJECTIVES: After losing coordinator Chuck Pagano as well as three experienced regulars to their high-caliber defense during the offseason, the Ravens enter this year's camp in need of some rearranging in that area. The most notable and important absence comes at the rush linebacker spot, where 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs will be out until at least November after partially tearing his Achilles tendon in the spring. His injury puts the spotlight on projected replacement Paul Kruger, a fourth-year pro who's flashed difference-making ability in spot duty but has never been a full-time player at the pro level. Rookie Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore's second- round pick in this past draft, will also be asked to step into a featured role at outside linebacker with valued veteran Jarret Johnson departing in free agency, while the team will be counting on promising youngsters Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee to help fill the void left by end Cory Redding's decision to join first-year head coach Pagano in Indianapolis. A changing of the guard could take place at one cornerback spot as well, with gifted 2011 first-round selection Jimmy Smith a candidate to push incumbent Cary Williams into nickel situations after being eased in as a rookie. Do-everything running back Ray Rice won't have to worry about losing his status after recently signing a long-term contract, but there will a battle brewing between rookie Bernard Pierce (3rd Round, Temple) and seldom-used sophomore Anthony Allen for the backup job. Another interesting competition could take place at quarterback, where former Colt Curtis Painter was signed to vie with the lightly-seasoned Tyrod Taylor for the No. 2 position on the depth chart.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 9 - at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 - vs. Detroit, 8 p.m. Aug. 23 - vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 - at St. Louis, 8 p.m.