If you were planning on making the trip out to Westminster tomorrow to watch either the Ravens' morning or afternoon practices, don't bother hopping in the car.
The team has canceled both of tomorrow's practices, leaving today's 2:45 p.m. session as the last weekend practice of training camp.
Ah, the end is in sight.
Outside of Terrence Cody, who we have discussed, there were two guys in the Ravens' front-seven who really stood out to me in Thursday's preseason opener: linebacker Antwan Barnes and defensive end Paul Kruger.
Barnes was all over the field, collecting five total tackles (one for loss), and a fumble recovery which came as the Ravens were backed up on their own one-yard-line.
But the most impressive part of Barnes' night came early in the game, when he showed off his speed and pass rush ability by getting around Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross.
Gross, a Pro Bowler in 2008, is one of the top left tackles in the game. But Barnes burned him twice in three plays, getting around the tackle and forcing holding penalties both times. The penalties negated two completions which would have resulted in first downs.
"My whole goal was just to get to the quarterback," Barnes said after the game. "Unfortunately, I got held in the process. I would love to get a sack in the process, but a hold is good too."
Barnes has had a strong camp, and in an offseason where the pass rush has been an area of emphasis, the fourth-year pro will be counted on to make a big impact in that aspect.
"That's basically what they drafted me for, to come in here and rush the passer," he said. "In third down situations, two-minute situations, I want to be that guy that comes in and does that. So, I'm going on the field and showing them I can do that and making it more obvious."
Kruger saw his first game action at his new position on Thursday after making the move from outside linebacker to defensive end, and he really impressed as well.
He posted four total tackles and had 1.5 sacks, something which he admitted was a nice result in his first game as a D-end.
"Getting a sack always feels good," Kruger said. "I don't know, I just go out there and play, and hopefully good things happen."
Kruger saw time on the outside and the inside as well, something which is new to him. He says he's still getting used to playing inside where there's less space to operate, which he likens to "playing in a phone booth"
The 2009 second-round pick also is still trying to adjust to his new playing weight (275 pounds, up nearly 25 pounds from last year) and has to get used to carrying that extra weight throughout the course of a full game.
"There were a few stretches at the end of the game where I got a little winded," Kruger said. "I felt I had a decent game, but there's a lot of things I think I'll see on film that I want to get better at."