News And Notes 8/19: Intensity Ramps Up, But Doesn't Cross Line

The Ravens finally got to match up against someone else on the practice field for a change.

After three weeks of banging heads with with their own teammates during training camp, the Ravens held their first of three practices against the Eagles Wednesday. The intensity picked up as the Ravens faced off with another opponent, but the two sides kept practice from going over the line.

"It's definitely more competitive," outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. "You kind of practice something that you're not accustomed to seeing, so it's more of a game-like feel."

The Ravens and Eagles took the field just a day after a fight at joint practices between the Cowboys and Rams was a top story in the NFL. The practice in Philadelphia never even got close to something like that, and the two sides avoided any kind of fighting. 

The most notable disagreement came when Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham tackled fullback Kyle Juszczyk, which broke the teams' agreement to avoid bringing players to the ground. Several Ravens piped up, and veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. was the most agitated. He took a few steps onto the field and yelled at Graham about the no-tackling agreement.

The teams then continued with their drills without any altercations.

There was reportedly a scuffle on another field between backups before Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow stepped in to help break it up.

"These two teams are professionals out there," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "These two teams went at it. It was a hard, tough physical practice. It was a very demanding practice. And these two teams were all about football from beginning to end. That speaks to the players and it also speaks to the coaches." 

Here were some of the other notes from the day:

The two teams faced off on the first of three days together at the NovaCare Complex.

-  Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), left guard Kelechi Osemele (foot), cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) and Jah Reid (undisclosed) all missed practice. Perriman did watch some of practice from the sidelines, which he usually doesn't do in Baltimore.

  • Tight end Maxx Williams returned after missing two days of practice. Offensive guard John Urschel (concussion) also returned, but the Ravens held him out of the full-contact 11-on-11 drills.

-  Right tackle Rick Wagner got dinged up during practice and James Hurst took over at the spot. Wagner stayed on the field for the rest of the day, but didn't get back in the drills.

  • Safety Matt Elam watched practice from the sidelines. He had surgery two weeks ago to repair a torn biceps that could cost him the entire season, but he took in practice from the sidelines wearing a large brace on his left arm.
  • The Eagles have a somewhat different approach to the start of practice. The entire team runs through a series of calisthenics together, while the Ravens players go through all of those drills individually.
  • The Ravens took the practice field about 40 minutes before the Eagles. Baltimore ran through their normal warmups and individual drills before the Eagles took the field and the two sides came together. The entire practice lasted about two hours and 20 minutes, which is a little shorter than the Ravens typically practice. The session was one of the hottest of the summer, as temperatures were in the low 90s.
  • Wide receiver Michael Campanaro had a strong day. He was frequently targeted by quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub, and was consistently able to find open spaces on the defense.
  • Smith Sr. and Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe had some good battles during practice. Smith caught a long pass down the sidelines right in front of the Eagles, and he naturally did the ball spin after the catch. Rowe then broke up a pass intended for Smith in the end zone and looked like he did a little trash talk after the play.
  • The Eagles made a clear effort to force fumbles on defense. After seemingly every catch, the defensive backs would try to poke out the football. The tactic worked against rookie tight end Nick Boyle, who fumbled about 30 yards downfield, and Harbaugh made a point after practice to say Boyle needs to do a better job protecting the ball.
  • Harbaugh and Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly spent the day on opposite fields and had little interaction during practice. Each coach stayed on the field with their offense.
  • Harbaugh was sporting a new slogan t-shirt during practice. The shirt read, "Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable," which is an appropriate mantra in training camp.
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