Over the weekend, the Ravens players released a statement through the NFLPA saying that they would be exercising their right to not attend the in-person, voluntary workouts of the offseason program.
But Baltimore had players in its facility as Phase One began, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Given the players’ weekend statement, Harbaugh was asked during his press conference about the importance of the 10 OTA practices the Ravens can start in late May.
“I’ve been on record saying that already. It’s football practice. It’s a team game, it’s the ultimate team game. And since I’ve been in the league, in terms of the controversy about the whole thing, it’s been voluntary,” Harbaugh said. “We coach every guy that wants to be here. Every guy that decides to show up, we’ll coach. And that’s what we’ll do. And when they get here, we’ll be coaching them. That’s kind of how it works out.
“We’ve got guys in the building today. We’ve got rehab guys, we’ve got non-rehab guys here. Guys make their choices and the guys who are here, we’re coaching them up.”
Phase One of the offseason program consists mainly of virtual meetings for four weeks, though players are also allowed in the facility to receive treatment or to work out. Phase Two is slated to begin in mid-May, and that’s when players may begin to receive on-field instruction from their coaches.
It remains to be seen if the players’ stance will change on OTAs as the offseason continues. But it stands to reason that at least some players will be in attendance, just as they were in the building on Monday.