Ravens call audible to accomodate Flacco

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens called an audible, altering their minicamp schedule so that first-round quarterback Joe Flacco will be able to attend a rookie camp next month. However, Flacco will be absent from the Ravens' training complex for the remainder of this month due to an NFL-NCAA rule that will force him to miss a four-day passing camp set to begin May 27.

Flacco isn't allowed to be at team headquarters until after May 30, when final exams conclude at the University of Delaware.

The rule limits a rookie to one minicamp while his school remains in session regardless of whether the player is enrolled or not.

Flacco, who's not enrolled in school, would have had to miss next week's rookie minicamp under the original schedule. Now, the three-day rookie minicamp has been rescheduled for June 16 to June 18.

"The Ravens are going to keep Joe up to speed," said Joe Linta, Flacco's agent, who met with team officials earlier this week to begin preliminary contract discussions regarding a potential five-year deal. "He'll be studying his playbook and staying in touch with Cam Cameron and Hue Jackson. He's a sharp kid, so I don't think it will be a problem."

Drafted 18th overall, Flacco will be able to participate in two passing camps in June prior to reporting to training camp July 21 in Westminster.

Meanwhile, safety Haruki Nakamura is the only other Ravens draft pick affected by the NFL-NCAA rule. Under the University of Cincinnati's quarterly academic calendar, exams aren't over until June 12. So, Nakamura, a sixth-round pick, will have to miss all of the remaining offseason schedule except for the rookie minicamp in June.

In the past, the Ravens have dealt with similar conflicts. In 2006, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and wide receiver Demetrius Williams were limited to one minicamp due to Oregon's final exam schedule.

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick was a pointed critic of the rule, which is intended to not interfere with players' academic pursuits. However, most incoming rookies are no longer enrolled in classes as they prepare for the NFL draft.

NOTE: Ravens linebacker Bart Scott's No. 32 jersey was retired Wednesday at Detroit's Southeastern High School. A former all-state selection at his alma mater, Scott has regularly supplied the Southeastern football team with new uniforms, cleats, gloves and weightlifting equipment.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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