It was a chippy minicamp practice for the Ravens Tuesday afternoon.
There was a pair of minor skirmishes during practice, headlined by wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
The veterans exchanged words after Smith caught a slant pass over the middle, and then the two players went to the ground as Webb tried to make a play on the ball over Smith's back. Smith appeared to take exception to the way Webb defended him on the play.
They each got in each other's face, with a little shoving, before teammates separated them. Smith initially jogged over to the sideline after the confrontation, but then Head Coach John Harbaugh made sure everything had calmed down and had him come back on the field for the next play.
Practice continued without any other incidents between the two.
"We love him. You see the fire," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said about Smith. "We were definitely on opposing ends of it a few minutes ago. That's what you kind of need in that purple. You need a fiery guy like that, not just on defense but on offense as well. I'm glad he's on my team."
Smith has been praised for the intensity he has brought to the practice field, and Suggs compared it to the attitude wide receiver Anquan Boldin had during his three years in Baltimore.
"It's good to have that back. We had that a few years ago with No. 81 [Boldin]," Suggs said. "It's good to kind of have that fire back on that side of the ball, with somebody that will go out there and jab back with us and compete."
The other skirmish in practice occurred earlier in the day between rookie defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan and tight end Crockett Gillmore. It was unclear exactly what started that altercation, but they were in the middle of a shoving match during full-team drills.
Teammates also separated them and they both finished the practice.
"You can't be a pushover, man," Jernigan told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "I played at Florida State and we don't get down like that. It's part of the game. It's over now. Whatever happens on the field stays on the field. We're teammates at the end of the day."
Here were some of the other highlights from the afternoon:
- Wide receiver Jacoby Jones had several nice plays during practice. He showed polish with a nice break on a comeback route and then impressive field awareness by getting two feet inbounds on a pass down the sideline. During one stretch in 11-on-11 drills, he beat Webb and then cornerback Jimmy Smith on back-to-back plays.
- Tight end Dennis Pitta had a great catch during seven-on-seven drills where he plucked a ball out of the air that was behind him and away from his body. He said yesterday that he feels like his old self after last year's hip injury, and plays like that one illustrate it.
- Rookie defensive lineman Brent Urban has been impressive during practice, and he broke through the line of scrimmage to chase quarterback Joe Flacco out of the pocket and force a throwaway.
- Flacco was on the run for much of practice, and he made some impressive plays with his feet. On a couple of occasions, the defense focused its attention on covering all of Flacco's targets, so he rolled out of the pocket and easily picked up decent chunks of yardage. There may be more opportunities for Flacco to make plays with his feet in Gary Kubiak's offense.
- Dropped passes were an issue at times during practice, as wide receiver Marlon Brown had a couple balls bounce off his hands. Undrafted rookie Jace Davis also had a pass get deflected off his hands and picked off by tryout cornerback Marquice Cole, who returned it for what would have likely been a pick-six.
- Harbaugh showed off some of his old coverage skills on punt returns, as he chased after returners Asa Jackson and Michael Campanaro during some of the special teams work.
- Suggs continues to make his presence known in practice, as he's constantly jawing on the field. At one point he was praising one of the rookies (it appeared to be linebacker C.J. Mosley), and then he looked up to General Manager Ozzie Newsome and shouted, "I like your rookies. You still got it, Ozzie!"
- Owner Steve Bisciotti was out on the practice field Tuesday watching the action. He spent much of the session sitting with Newsome, Pat Moriarty and O.J. Brigance.