It’s not easy changing teams in the NFL.
You’ve got new teammates to meet, a new system to learn, and new coaches to get used to.
But there’s one part about Donte’ Stallworth’s transition onto the Ravens’ roster that he says is a positive.
“It’s good to not have to play these guys again,” Stallworth said with a smile.
Stallworth is currently trying to acclimate himself into the Ravens’ offense, a process which is complicated for a player under normal circumstances.
Stallworth’s circumstances, however, are far from normal.
The speedy wide receiver hasn’t played in a game in nearly a year and a half after being suspended for the 2009 season for the much publicized DUI manslaughter incident in March of that year.
Now, he’s back in an NFL minicamp, trying to get his bearings and slowly work his way into the Ravens’ offense. That’s something that Stallworth says might take a little while.
“It’s getting there,” he said. “It’s a process and luckily we have a little time. The season doesn’t start until the end of July, really, with training camp, so I’ve got some time. Guys are just trying to gel right now, and everyone’s trying to find their way.”
One thing which has helped the seven-year veteran settle in is the fact that he’s been spending time with the coaching staff, quarterback Joe Flacco and other teammates for almost three months now.
Since signing with the Ravens in mid-February, Stallworth has been at Ravens headquarters quite a bit, working out with the team and catching passes from his new quarterback.
That time, Stallworth says, has made what could be a stressful, difficult transition much easier.
“It’s been extremely beneficial,” Stallworth said. “I think if this was my first time coming out here [during minicamps], I probably would feel like a rookie.”
Instead, he’s just another one of the veterans in a much-improved wide receiving corps.
The fact that he’s familiar with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s system also has helped, and it’s left Stallworth feeling a little more comfortable as some of the more inexperienced wide receivers’ heads are spinning during these early minicamps.
“I’ve been in this offense before, I’ve played a little football before, so it’s not completely new,” Stallworth said. “The rookies that are just getting here, they’ll be a little overwhelmed...but once the OTAs come, things will slow down a little bit and we’ll be able to really gel with this group.”