Despite a great practice on Saturday on the field for the Baltimore Ravens, head coach John Harbaugh was not well pleased with how his team was handling their success, and ultimately it became a teaching moment for one of the Ravens young players.
During team drills, quarterback Joe Flacco completed a short drag route on the left side of the field. The pass was complete, but short of the first down.
But minutes later, as the defense was celebrating the short stop-Harbaugh signaled first down and had the chain gang move down the field, shocking Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and several other Ravens defenders who were lined up on the sideline.
Harbaugh told his defense that they lingered on the field too long , and that several of the guys-including linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale came off the sideline onto the practice field.
“We talked about that in the meeting!” Harbaugh exclaimed.
It was made abundantly clear Saturday that with camp that Harbaugh is trying to get his team disciplined coming off the practice fields at Owings Mills and ready for 60 minutes of football at M&T Bank Stadium and on the road.
The Ravens will play the San Francisco 49ers at home this Thursday in their first preseason game, with a rematch of Super Bowl 47 and the “Harbaugh Bowl” between brothers John and Jim Harbaugh.
The next play, Ravens CB Chykie Brown nearly came down with an interception off Joe Flacco, and with the ball lying on the turf, Brown kicked the ball several yards down the field in frustration.
Harbaugh was none too pleased with Brown’s actions and made it known to the fourth-year CB, as he kicked Brown off the practice field.
Brown ran off the field to Harbaugh saying, “Are we going to be a disciplined team or a bullsh*t one?”
Harbaugh said they had a meeting Friday night about possible infractions the referees were going to be more serious about enforcing, and the Ravens coach said he needed to set an example of Brown.
“I took an opportunity to make a point,” he said. “It was a little exuberance, but those things it’s practicing. As a head coach when you have an opportunity to make a point that they’ll remember in a situation like that, that’s why practice is important.”
Brown returned ten minutes later, and clearly had a chip on his shoulder to get back in his coach’s good graces. Maybe too much-as he and wide receiver Steve Smith, who got a day off on Friday, exchanged punches during one of the drills.
Offensive lineman Ryan Jensen and Kapron Lewis-Moore also got into it during practice.
Overall though, Harbaugh said Brown had a very impressive practice Saturday-along with the total defense.
“That’s what I love about him…he responded with a great practice…that’s a sign that he’s going to be alright.”
10 Baltimore Ravens missed practice Saturday, including the usual likes of CB Lardarius Webb (back), LB Daryl Smith (groin), DT Terrence Cody (hip), G Will Rackley (concussion), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), and DE Brent Urban, who tore his ACL Thursday and is going to miss the season.
Harbaugh said that Webb likely will not play in the first two preseason games nursing that back injury. His absence at this point is mostly precautionary, and that he likely would only play in the third preseason game.
“He’s got some things going on that aren’t long term…it’s probably just as much me as anything. I don’t want to put him through a lot this early in camp.”
Harbaugh said that Timmy Jernigan, who left Thursday with a back injury, could be back on the practice field soon. His back injury is all muscle, and Harbaugh didn’t want him practicing with discomfort.
“He assures me he’ll play Thursday night.”
OT Eugene Monroe, CB Jimmy Smith, and WR Steve Smith all returned to practice after a day off Friday. OG Kelechi Osemele, OG Marshal Yanda, TE Owen Daniels, and DE/OLB Pernell McPhee were given Saturday off.
With the two guards out, second-year man Ryan Jensen lined up at LG while AQ Shipley took Yanda’s place in the starting five. Ricky Wagner returned to RT as a starter after Jah Reid got some reps at the position this week.
WR/KR Michael Campanaro left practice early with a trainer with what the Baltimore Sun reported as a rib injury.