OWINGS MILLS – Nobody has to tell Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds about the intensity of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. Reynolds admitted Friday that when seeking advice on switching from quarterback in college to wide receiver in the NFL, he asked former Steelers star Hines Ward for advice.
“I know that’s like a cardinal sin in this building,” Reynolds said after his first day of Ravens rookie minicamp. “We got to talk before the draft, to ease everybody’s mind.”
Ravens fans will certainly forgive Reynolds, especially if Ward offers helpful hints. He has also been consulting former Washington Redskin and current CSN analyst Brian Mitchell, which could help him progress as well.
As a sixth-round pick, Reynolds hopes to make an immediate impact as a receiver-returner with the Ravens, after a brilliant career playing quarterback at Navy.
Reynolds got encouraging news off the field this week, when Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, said he would do everything in his power to make sure Reynolds’ Navy commitments would not interfere with playing for the Ravens.
Reynolds said he had not received a further update on the Navy’s plans for him. But a precedent for Reynolds playing NFL football right away has already been set. Patriots long snapper Joe Cordona, who was Reynolds’ teammate at Navy, played his entire rookie season with New England last year while also working at a Naval Preparatory Academy in Rhode Island.
Cordona has been a sounding board for Reynolds.
“I’ve been blowing his phone up this whole process,” Reynolds said. “I was blowing him up on draft day. He has really helped, and his experience, obviously, being able to serve and play, has been really helpful.”
Reynolds has known for months that his NFL future would probably not be at quarterback.
“When I got invited to the (East-West) Shrine game, I saw that I wasn’t a quarterback anymore,” said Reynolds, who was listed as a running back for that game.
But Reynolds is not complaining, and he knows many people are rooting for him.
“This is an opportunity to pursue the dream at the next level, and I’m embracing it with everything I can,” Reynolds said.