The Ravens and 49ers knew they’d be in store for a physical three-day stretch when they decided to hold a series of joint practices in Baltimore.
And that’s exactly what they got on Sunday, as the intensity ramped up during the second day of combined practices.
“I love the way both teams competed and I love the way both teams took care of one another,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “We got better today, and I believe they did as well.”
The main event was a full-speed goal-line drill between both teams’ second units. The drill was live just like a game, except the quarterbacks were off limits.
During the drill, the Ravens’ second-team offense started at the 5-yard line with a first-and-goal situation. The Ravens went up against the 49ers’ second-team defense for two series, and in both situations the Ravens ended up settling for a short field goal.
The 49ers’ second-team offense also had its shot in the drill, and they scored a touchdown on one of the series. On the other series, the Ravens defense stopped San Francisco when they went for a touchdown on fourth down. Linebacker
While the practice was hard-hitting, it was another clean day free of skirmishes. Here were some of the other key notes of practice:
- The toughest part of practice was seeing defensive lineman
- Tight end
- An exciting part of practice came early in the day when players lined up for one-on-one blocking drills. Ravens running backs and tight ends had the tough task of blocking the 49ers outside linebackers, including Pro Bowler Aldon Smith. There were some big collisions during this portion of practice, including a crushing block from Ravens fullback
- The officiating of defensive holding and pass interference has been a point of emphasis during the preseason, and even during practice. Defensive backs around the league are trying to get a handle on what the officials will allow this season, and that’s a learning process during camp. Officials spent time talking with players after throwing flags to explain why the players were penalized.
- A difference in the joint practices compared to the rest of camp is that the Ravens have eliminated loud music. Songs typically play during full-team drills, but not this weekend. It’s hard enough coordinating 180 players, so adding music to the mix could have made life even more challenging for the coaches.