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News & Notes: John Harbaugh Talks Pros and Cons of Joint Practices

Head Coach John Harbaugh
Head Coach John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh Discusses Pros and Cons of Joint Practices

Head Coach John Harbaugh believes both the Ravens and Commanders benefited from their two days of joint practices.

"I appreciate Ron Rivera and the Commanders organization for bringing the team up here," Harbaugh said. "I appreciate their team for the good competition, good practices. Just a first-class coaching staff there. I think we got better because of the practices. I hope they feel the same way."

NFL coaches must weigh the pros and cons of holding workouts with another NFL team. Harbaugh said opponents can potentially gain from watching videotapes of joint practices.

"It's certainly an advantage," Harbaugh said. "How significant is the thing you have to decide. I'm sure that this was live streamed – so I'm sure that other teams will have those plays that they see and all that. They'll look at that, scouts will look at the players on it just like they would [in] a game.

"We do the same thing with other practices. You have to make a determination for the organization. Do you want to shut it all down and not let your fans see any of it, or do you want to give your fans a chance to see it? You weigh it out. Coaches, we're obviously more concerned with the information, but I also feel like it's worth the work. It's worth getting out here [and] going against another team."

For linebacker Roquan Smith and other established veteran starters, the joint practices were essentially their preseason games as the only other work they'll get against an opponent before the regular season begins.

"I thought things went great. I put some good work in versus the Commanders," Smith said. "We came out, did what we had to do, and I felt like we became better as a team. That's all you can ask for in these joint practices, and I'm sure these guys will say the same. … It's always good just to be able to go out here and get game-like scenarios versus a quality opponent in the Commanders. So, it's never bad. You can never turn down good work."

Odell Beckham Jr. Showed Off His Speed in Joint Practices

Washington rookie cornerback Emmanuel Forbes ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, but that's a different experience than trying to cover Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham was a playmaker for the second straight day at Ravens-Commanders joint practices, catching a deep reception on which he ran right past Forbes. Beckham enjoyed the matchup and proved that he can operate against corners with much younger legs.

"What's his 40?" Beckham joked. "Knowing that he's a younger guy, it was good to be able to go against someone else and just communicate about things that they're learning and just seeing how they play technique and how they see things. He's definitely got some speed. But I told you: I've still got a little bit left in here."

It was Beckham's first action against another team since Feb. 13, 2022 in Super Bowl LVI, and it will likely be his last before the start of the regular season. Facing the Commanders' talented corners helped sharpen him for Week 1.

"There are some things I wouldn't do to my teammates that I'd do to somebody else," Beckham said. "So, it's that fine line of competing, but keeping each other healthy and safe and just being able to find work. So it was great to be able to go against another team and different competition. I think the last few days are very beneficial on both sides."

Ochocinco Believes Injuries May Have Cost Beckham a $200 Million Deal

On the debut episode of their “Uno and Ocho Show”, Cam Newton and Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson discussed Beckham and how much injuries have cost him. Had Beckham stayed healthy his entire career, Johnson said he believes Beckham could have signed a $200 million contract.

"I wish we could rewind back the time and he never gotten hurt," Johnson said via the New York Post. "I think 'O' might have been the first $200 million deal. He does more than just play football. He's bigger than that."

Beckham doesn't dwell in on the past, but he heard Johnson's comments and appreciated the respect.

"I've seen it, and I hate the could've, would've, should've," Beckham said. "At 4 or 5 years old, I always felt I was one of the best athletes, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I don't know about $200 million. I would have definitely loved to have that.

"I would have loved to [have] seen what would have happened in my career if I had never been hurt. But I think God placed this journey for me to be here, specifically, to be able to be exactly who I am today. And the adversity that I have been through will allow me to … .later on in life, when things hit, I think I'll be able to handle it a little better."

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