When the Ravens opened mandatory minicamp Tuesday, head coach John Harbaugh was prepared to get a first look at running back J.K. Dobbins on the field in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s system.
But those plans went out the window, as Dobbins missed camp this week. In an interview with WJZ sports director Mark Viviano, Dobbins discussed his desire to remain in Baltimore, but declined to comment on his reported soft-tissue injury.
“The business side is very hard, it’s very different,” Dobbins told Viviano. “It’s different. But it’s part of it. You saw with Lamar, it’s never just roses and daisies, it can be hard at times. It’s business though.”
Dobbins told Viviano he wishes to continue playing with the Ravens and expressed his passion for the city Baltimore.
“The thing I can say is, I would love to be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of my career,” Dobbins said. “I love the city, I love the people, it feels like family. It feels like my second home. I hope that happens. I hope that happens.”
At the conclusion of camp Thursday, Harbaugh said he didn’t anticipate Dobbins being absent.
“I expected J.K. to practice but it just wasn’t in the cards apparently,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said that despite missing this week, Dobbins, who is entering the final year of his contract, should be ready when training camp opens next month.
“I don’t have any issue with J.K.,” Harbaugh said. “He should be ready.”
Dobbins missed the “football school” portion of the Ravens offseason program and organized team activities over the offseason. Still, there was a sense he’d be on the field in some capacity heading into the week.
The minicamp situation is the newest chapter in a mysterious offseason between Dobbins and the Ravens. On June 1, Dobbins tweeted that he was Baltimore “till I’m gone.” In another deleted tweet, he wrote, “Idk [I don’t know] tho sadly.”
Dobbins was among a few Ravens players absent from the final day of practice. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (illness) was not on the field, as well as left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Harbaugh said Stanley was stepped on during the week and decided to rest.
Elsewhere, Harbaugh said he expects both cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis (hip) and linebacker Tyus Bowser (knee) to be ready for the start of camp.
However, fullback Patrick Ricard won’t be ready as he recovers from offseason hip surgery. Harbaugh said Ricard will start camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list but should be good to go “shortly thereafter.”
Kevin Zeitler seeking an extension?
Ravens right guard Kevin Zeitler showed up for all three days of minicamp, but the veteran is reportedly looking for a new contract from the team.
Zeitler, who is in the final year of a three-year deal he signed with the Ravens, is set to earn nearly $1.17 million in base salary this season. He made it clear he’d like to finish his career in Baltimore.
“When you’re in a place this good, you’d love to finish out your career here,” Zeitler said. “I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. ... I kind of made it real clear I still need this game, I love this game and I want to play this game. I have no intentions of stopping anytime soon, but honestly that side that doesn’t really matter. When I’m here for my teammates, I owe it to them to work hard every day and do whatever I can to try to get this team a Super Bowl.”
Marlon Humphrey increasing his voice, communication
When Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey was asked what he’s learned the last few weeks of the offseason, communication came to mind. Not only on the field, but off.
Humphrey delivered a strong message to the team at the end of practice as players separate before the start of camp. He stressed teammates to enjoy the time off as much as possible so that when they return, they’re able to dedicate everything to the season.
His statement to them went as follows: “To win a Super Bowl, you’ve got to put a lot of time and effort in. While we got in some good work — OTAs, minicamp — you’ve got this big break. Whether it’s you want to hang out your dog a lot, hang out with your girl a lot, hang out with this, try to do as much as that as you can because when we come back, we want everyone to be putting as much time into football as you can.”
Humphrey said that’s one of the things he plans on doing differently as he enters his seventh season with the Ravens.
“I think if we can all echo that [and] be one accord, I think special things can happen with this team.”
Rock Ya-Sin explains why he signed with the Ravens
Meeting with reporters for the first time since joining the Ravens, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin gave insight about his decision to sign with Baltimore.
Ya-Sin, who signed a one-year deal with the Ravens after the NFL draft, said he believes the team’s defense is a great fit for him as well as the environment.
“I like the fit, I like the defense, I like the culture,” Ya-Sin said. “I like the organization. [There are] a lot of great players to compete with, guys to learn from. I just felt like it was a good fit for me.”
Ya-Sin is slated to start opposite of Humphrey at corner. He has appeared in 52 games over four seasons with the Colts and Las Vegas Raiders, making 32 starts. He lined up primarily as an outside cornerback last season.
Ya-Sin said watching film on the Ravens and seeing how some guys like Humphrey, safety Marcus Williams and linebacker Roquan Smith played persuaded him.
“It’s just a great situation for me, I believe.”