East coast teams that have to travel to the Midwest and West Coast in back to back games can rack up a lot of mileage. The Baltimore Ravens opened up the season with a trip to Denver to face the Broncos. Their next game will be in Oakland against the Raiders. As a result, the team decided to fly from Denver to San Jose, California rather than fly back to Baltimore after the game.
The Ravens set up their facilities for the week and head coach John Harbaugh likes the way that things came together. “The setup here [in San Jose] is really, really good. We have an incredible setup. The Hilton has done a great job of organizing the meeting rooms and the practice walk-through areas. The whole setup is just first-class all the way.”
Harbaugh said that they will prepare for the Raiders by using the facilities at San Jose State University. The team explored numerous options in the area but settled on the South Bay because of the convenience that San Jose offers. The Ravens have an agreement in place to use the facilities at San Jose State University for a couple of hours each day.
The time away from home is a good opportunity for the team to continue to build upon the family type atmosphere. Being around their teammates 24/7 for a full week almost forces them to get to know each other as people. Having a tight knit team goes a long way to help the group pull together and fight through adverse situations.
One player that was not able to make the trip with the team is veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. He suffered a torn Achilles against the Broncos and will be out for the remainder of the season. Harbaugh said that Suggs is going to go home and meet with various doctors. It is likely that he will have surgery soon. The surgery will be able to occur once the swelling goes down if there is any.
According to Harbaugh, the team will employ their “next man up” mentality and lean on rookie outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith to fill the void. The head coach didn’t rule out the possibility that they will look at free agents and possibly bring someone in.
The Ravens have settled into their makeshift facilities in San Jose very quickly. Harbaugh was asked about the possibility of taking a trip back to the South Bay for Super Bowl XL in February. As always, he was able to put things in the right perspective. “Hoping for a return back in the South Bay in February? Certainly, but we better get a couple wins here in September to make that a possibility.”