Two world champions met on the same field yesterday, when world heavyweight titleholder Hasim Rahman stopped by Ravens minicamp to address the team and watch practice.
Rahman, who defeated Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight crown in April, met Ravens coach Brian Billick by chance at an Owings Mills shopping mall last week, and after chatting, Billick asked if the fighter would like to speak to the team.
“We talked about how both of us are champions, and how both of us plan on holding on and defending our titles,” Rahman said. “We made an agreement. We’re both going to defend our titles. Both of us have to repeat.”
Billick said he wanted to emphasize to the team that Rahman does not get a regular season and postseason to defend his crown.
“This guy defends his championship every single time he steps on the canvas,” Billick said. “And that’s something we have to deal with now. We’re the defending Super Bowl champs every time we step on the field.”
HBO Sports and NFL Films announced yesterday that they will produce “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Baltimore Ravens,” a weekly series chronicling the practices of the defending Super Bowl champions.
Episodes will air from 11 p.m. to midnight on Wednesdays, with the first show airing Aug. 1. Replays will air Thursdays at 8 p.m.
NFL Films president Steve Sabol said the Ravens have given unprecedented access for the production, which will show the player’s homes, their locker rooms, their dorms and scenes from the field, without editing for language. But Billick, as well as some players, were at first hesitant.
“The first question most people are going to have for us, and I had for myself, was why we would allow this,” Billick said. “This is going to present a tremendous learning opportunity for the team. I’m going to watch this team to see how they deal with the ever-present camera. … we’re going to have to deal with that hot, bright spotlight of being world champion. It’s going to be the same way all year, particularly if we do well.”
Said tight end Shannon Sharpe: “When I first heard about this, I was a little leery. But we’re going to show how we can handle this. We’re not going to put on a show for the cameras. We’re going to be who we are. What you see is what you’re going to get.
“And I’m telling you, we’re going to repeat.”
Long snapper Joe Maese, this year’s sixth-round pick from New Mexico, signed a three-year, $950,500 deal. He is the third of the Ravens’ seven picks to sign.
Offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo will sign free autographs at the Bowie Baysox game from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. today at Prince George’s Stadium, then throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Defensive tackle Sam Adams (sprained toe), linebacker Ray Lewis (sprained midfoot) and defensive back Delvin Hughley (abdominal sprain) sat out practice.
Motivational speaker Art Berg watched practice. Berg, a quadriplegic, addressed the team last year and focused on “In Victus.” That phrase means “to take control of your destiny” and is inscribed on the Ravens’ Super Bowl rings.
Sun staff writer Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.