News And Notes 8/20: Tensions Run High, But Don't Boil Over

After the first day of joint practices between the Ravens and Eagles Wednesday, Philadelphia cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said the sessions were "kind of teetering on that thin piece of ice."

That tension was palpable Thursday, as the two teams spent the early part of practice feeling out how the other side would approach the practice. The session started chippy when Baltimore's receivers matched up with the Eagles cornerbacks for one-on-one drills.

Steve Smith Sr. put his shoulder down and collided with Eagles safety Chris Maragos after making a catch across the middle, then the veteran receiver spun the ball and jogged back to the huddle. The Eagles took exception to Smith's ball spin, as one of their players kicked the ball after he did it.

Wide receiver Jeremy Butler then took a shot from Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe after making a catch. They got in each other's face for a few seconds before Butler headed back to the huddle.

The cornerbacks and receivers engaged in some trash talk, but kept the intensity from boiling over.

The biggest scrap during practice came later in the day when Ravens undrafted rookie linemen De'Ondre Wesley and Blaine Clausell got into a fight with Eagles undrafted rookie linebacker Diaheem Watkins. The two sides quickly broke up the fight, but Watkins was sent to the locker room.

Nothing escalated into anything major during the practice that lasted a little longer than two hours.

"Intense again, but I thought the guys did a great job of taking care of one another, and getting the most out of the practices," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "That's credit to both teams."

The intensity will be dialed back Friday, as the two squads will hold a "mental-type practice" ahead of the preseason game Saturday night, Harbaugh said. 

Waller Had Best Practice Yet

Rookie sixth-round pick Darren Waller had his best practice of the summer.

The two squads got after it in the second session of three joint practices at the NovaCare Complex.

He made a strong case for a roster spot in the wide receiver competition, hauling in several catches throughout the afternoon.

The 6-foot-6 target skied for a pair of deep passes down the sidelines where he fended off the defender and pulled in the football. Both catches were tightly contested, but Waller made the grabs and kept his feet in bounds before getting pushed to the ground.

Later in the day, he caught a touchdown on a jump ball during red-zone drills. Waller's size makes him a prime candidate to have passes thrown his way close to the goal line, and his touchdown Thursday was a perfect example of how the Ravens could use him in that role.

Here were some other notes from the day:

-  A number of veterans were given the day off, including Terrell Suggs, Daryl Smith and Chris Canty. Right tackle Rick Wagner, who had offseason foot surgery, also rested after getting caught up in a pile Wednesday. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (back) also didn't practice.

-  Left guard Kelechi Osemele (foot) returned to practice after missing a few days.

-  The joint practices gave Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg a good look at the kickoff returner competition. The teams have spent plenty of time working on the return game, and the speed of those drills is more game-like than what the Ravens typically run at their own practices. It's unclear who has a lead in that race, but wide receiver Michael Campanaro was the first player to get reps on Thursday.

-  Fullback Kyle Juszczyk made a tough touchdown catch on a fade route during seven-on-seven drills. He absorbed a big hit just after making the catch, but still managed to hang onto the football.

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