The Baltimore Ravens open training camp on July 30 at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland. Here's a closer look at the Ravens camp, which wraps up on Aug. 21:
Top storyline: Changes on offense. The Ravens are coming off their highest offensive ranking (No. 12) since 1997, but they watched offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and two of their top three receivers (Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels) go elsewhere this offseason. Whether Baltimore can sustain this productivity depends heavily on Marc Trestman, the Ravens' fourth offensive coordinator in four years. The Ravens were able to adjust quickly in Kubiak's first season in Baltimore, and it remains to be seen whether they can do the same under Trestman. In offseason workouts, Trestman made a strong impression on the players. He's an enthusiastic teacher and extremely detail-oriented. Plus, he has gotten the most out of every one of his past quarterbacks not named Jay Cutler. That's good news for quarterback Joe Flacco, who has his youngest set of targets since entering the league in 2008. There's a chance that Baltimore's top two picks in this year's draft, wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams, will be in the starting lineup when the Ravens open the season Sept. 13 at Denver.
Position battles to watch: Wide receiver and kick returner. At wide receiver, Perriman remains the favorite to replace Smith, although it's not a given. Kamar Aiken, a journeyman who exceeded expectations last season, ran with the first team in offseason workouts, and Marlon Brown has experience after starting 12 games as a rookie in 2012. Perriman, Baltimore's first-round pick, has the edge because he is more explosive than Aiken and Brown. The most wide-open competition is at returner. The Ravens didn't sign a free agent or draft anyone to replace Jacoby Jones, who was cut in the offseason. The top candidates include Michael Campanaro, Asa Jackson and undrafted rookie DeAndre Carter. Lardarius Webb has campaigned for the job, but it's unknown whether the Ravens would risk using a starting cornerback in that spot.
Veterans to watch: Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. Monroe was the biggest disappointment on one of the most improved offensive lines in the NFL. He missed too many games (a career-worst five) and drew too many flags (team-leading nine). Monroe has a lot to prove in 2015, when he tops the team with a $5.5 million salary. There's a great amount of pressure on Jernigan as well, but for different reasons. Jernigan is replacing Haloti Ngata, one of the best players in franchise history. There's plenty of optimism surrounding Jernigan after the second-round pick more than held his own in four games in December, when Ngata was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. The challenge is for Jernigan, who missed four games due to injuries as a rookie, to play that way over a 16-game season.
Rookies to watch: Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith. While everyone has talked extensively about the expected impact of Perriman and Williams on the offensive side of the ball, the most intriguing rookie on defense is Smith. The fourth-round pick out of Kentucky has been described as a Pernell McPhee clone, from the dreads to the body type to the No. 90 uniform number. The scary part for quarterbacks is Smith might be more athletic than McPhee, who signed a five-year, $38.75 million contract with the Bears in free agency. The Ravens would be happy if Smith could produce the same immediate results. McPhee recorded six sacks in his rookie season.
Bubble watch: Inside linebacker Arthur Brown. No one is expecting any major drama when it comes to roster cuts this year. The most notable name on the bubble right now is Brown, a slow-developing second-round pick from 2013. The Ravens wanted Brown so badly that they traded up to get him. Two years later, he can't beat out undrafted rookie Zachary Orr to get on the field for special teams. Baltimore typically gives its top draft picks time to develop. In fact, no healthy second-round pick has ever been cut by the Ravens after two full seasons. But you have to wonder if the Ravens' patience is running out. Last season, Brown was inactive for 12 games and didn't play a defensive snap.
Dark horse to watch: Wide receiver Jeremy Butler. After spending his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, Butler was among the biggest surprises this spring, catching nearly every pass thrown his way. His performance during the final minicamp was called "incredible" by Flacco and "unbelievable" by wide receivers coach Bobby Engram. Undrafted last year out of Tennessee-Martin, Butler has intriguing size at 6-foot-2, 218 pounds.
Injury watch: Tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) has not been cleared by doctors, and he's expected to start camp on the physically unable to perform list. ... Offensive tackle Rick Wagner (foot) is another candidate for the PUP list, although the Ravens have long expected him to return sometime this summer. He didn't participate in any offseason workouts. ... Center Jeremy Zuttah (hip) is expected to be ready for training camp after being limited to individual drills in the mandatory minicamp. ... Cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot) has been ahead of schedule in his recovery and should be close to full strength when camp begins. ... Wide receiver Michael Campanaro (quadricep) should be full-go by the start of camp after injuring himself on the first day of organized training activities. ... Safety Terrence Brooks (knee) shockingly participated in non-contract drills this spring just five months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. By the way he ran this offseason, he has a good shot at suiting up this camp.
For daily updates at camp, check out the Baltimore Ravens clubhouse page.