The Ravens had one day off after a blowout win in their first preseason game in Tampa Bay.
Then John Harbaugh put his players right back to work Saturday for one of the most high-intensity practices of training camp, which also featured plenty of trash talk and sharp words from the head coach.
Harbaugh interjected to make a point to both the offensive and defensive units at large, and gave a couple individual players an earful as well.
"Had a good practice; a good, tough, hard-nosed practice," Harbaugh said. "A lot of good, tough, hard-nosed situations, and that's how you develop a tough, hard-nosed football team."
The Ravens had a long goal-line drill that featured full-tilt blocking and physicality in the trenches. The team's 11-on-11 drills got so physical at one point that Harbaugh sent Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice to the sideline for his own protection.
"You have to get after it each and every day," linebacker Josh Bynes said. "It took the head coach to go out there and take control of his team and take control of this practice, and that's what he did. When we go out there on Sundays, it's just a fight no matter how your body or mind feels.
"Today we had to get after it and definitely come out here and work. That's what Coach Harbs emphasized today. He did a great job."
Here are some of the highlights from Saturday's practice:
- Rice was hit hard in the backfield by defensive tackle Art Jones during 11-on-11 drills. The running back took exception and threw the ball at Jones. Harbaugh intervened, saying: "[Rice] is too valuable to be out here if we're going to block like that." Running back Damien Berry took Rice's place.
- A fight broke out after outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw shoved tight end Billy Bajema at the end of a running play. Bajema came back at Upshaw and the benches cleared.
- Cornerback Asa Jackson was a late entry to the scrum, and Harbaugh didn't like it. "Get your squirrely [butt] out of here," Harbaugh yelled at Jackson. "If you ever do that again, you're cut. That's a penalty and an ejection."
- Harbaugh was not happy with rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette. He shouted to the sideline, "Get number 13 off of the field. He's lackadaisical and lazy. Get him off the field."
- The offense was having its way for much of practice, including in the red zone and in goal-line drills. Harbaugh challenged the defense by saying, "You can whine, you can cry, or you can play defense."
- After Harbaugh's words to the defense, cornerback Jimmy Smith intercepted Joe Flacco on the very next play. Smith jogged to Harbaugh and handed him the ball.
- While the offense ruled most of the day, and still finished on top, the defense nearly came back to beat it. The defense dominated the final hurry-up 11-on-11 portion of practice. Flacco was picked off three times, by Smith, linebacker Terrell Suggs and safety Michael Huff. Flacco slammed his helmet to the turf as he came off the field following the last interception.
- Suggs, of course, let the offense know it was struggling late in the practice. He continually taunted Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell and said, "If this was a real game, we would be up 40-0! What kind of ship are you running over there?"
- Flacco didn't say a word, but did fire back at Suggs. He simply strode onto the field and exaggeratedly pointed to the scoreboard. At that point, the offense was winning by a lot more.
- Wide receiver Torrey Smith had arguably the best catch of training camp. He was running across the middle and Flacco's pass was behind him. The leaping Smith stuck one hand out behind him and snatched the pass for a touchdown.
- Rookie free agent Marlon Brown had a nice catch on a jump ball in the end zone. The Ravens targeted the 6-foot-5 wide receiver in the red zone on a few occasions.
- Cornerback Lardarius Webb notched another interception of Flacco, coming off a tipped ball in the red zone. Webb is easing his way back into more action.
- Wide receiver Jacoby Jones was tested over the middle a few times and showed good, strong hands by plucking the ball away from his body. He might have taken a big hit on a couple, however.
- Safety Matt Elam couldn't resist from knocking undrafted rookie wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard on his behind during one non-contact drill.
- The Ravens gave wide receiver Tandon Doss a number of looks in short-yardage situations, where he showed strong catches to pick up first downs.
- Safety Omar Brown continues to make plays. He picked off backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returned it for a touchdown during the hurry-up 11-on-11 drills.