Notebook: Ravens Have First Camp Fight


The Ravens have incorporated music into their training camp practices.

On Wednesday, the choice was clear: **the** “Rocky” theme song.

Baltimore had its first brawl of training camp after weeks of labor peace. And it was no slap fight either.

"It was a spirited fight; no doubt about that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

It all started between rookie center Gino Gradkowski and defensive tackle Arthur Jones. It's unknown exactly what started the scrum, but the two players were still locked up after the play.

In one corner was Gradkowski (6-foot-3, 300 pounds), who had been in a scrum with nose tackle Terrence Cody previously in camp. So he's no stranger to mixing it up.

Standing in the other corner was Jones (6-3, 315), who has done mixed martial arts training with his UFC-champion brother, Jon "Bones" Jones, the past two offseasons and is a former New York state wrestling champ.

As could be expected, Jones won the bout.

"It was just one of those camp scuffles, nothing big," Gradkowski said. "It ended up being a pretty good brawl. But you know, tempers flare during camp and you go against the same guy every day. So that's the end of it."

Jones vs. Gradkowski was not the end of the fight, however.

Almost the entire offense and defense converged in the middle and Jah Reid, who was practicing in just his second camp practice due to a calf injury, got the worst of it. He was ganged up on by four members of the secondary.

"What are you going to do about it?" Harbaugh said. "Get in there and start tossing bodies around and get them out of there?"

There were a few players who knew to stay clear of the scrum. Center Matt Birk joked that he's too old for such nonsense. Running back Ray Rice was nowhere to be seen, yet joked afterwards about how he went for the biggest guys. Quarterback Joe Flacco honored the non-contact red jersey.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb stayed out of it too, but had post-fight commentary for reporters.

"If you look at that fight, Jah got beat up kind of bad," Webb said, inciting laughter. "I ran from it. No fighting for me, but they got him."

The coaches let the fight play out. But once it settled, they immediately called another play, forcing players to scramble back to the line. Practice continued as if nothing happened with the "Rocky" music blaring.

"Guys are out there fighting and competing, just letting us know we're competitive," Webb said. "But, we love each other at the end."

CB Smith Leaves Practice Early

Almost as soon as cornerback Jimmy Smith returned to practice, he was back on the sidelines.

Last year's first-round pick returned on Saturday from a back injury. On Wednesday, he landed hard on his back while leaping to break up a pass.

Smith shook off the pain and continued, but later in the practice he gingerly walked off with a trainer.

Harbaugh did not give any injury updates following practice. The Ravens were hoping to see Smith get his first game action of the preseason, and Webb indicated he was on track to start.

"We'll have Jimmy Smith back out on the end," Webb said. "It will be a little different than it was last week. I know we had me and Cary out there, but it will be a little different rotation this week."

Three More Misses For Cundiff

Billy Cundiff missed three times on Wednesday, all from beyond 50 yards.

He was wide right from 52 and 56 yards and short on a 58-yarder, which safety Ed Reed brought out of the end zone.

Rookie kicker Justin Tucker went 6-for-6, including hitting from 52 and 56 yards.

Practice Highlights:

Wide receiver Torrey Smith (ankle) missed his second straight practice.

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin had a strong practice, hauling in a pair of tightly contested, leaping passes. LaQuan Williams also snagged a pass above his head while fully extended, drawing praise from Harbaugh.

Cornerback Cary Williams was tight in coverage throughout the day, and got some props from coaches despite completions. Williams seems to be having bad luck with receivers just making standout plays.

Cornerback Danny Gorrer notched a pick off a deflected pass by fifth-round rookie cornerback Asa Jackson, who was around the ball on a few occasions. Backup Tyrod Taylor threw the pass.

Rookie free agent tight end Matt Balasavage dropped a touchdown pass from Flacco in traffic. Safety Bernard Pollard said, "Hey, I'd be scared too."

Pollard, who is not one to back away from a tussle, tweeted after practice: "Today was the best day by far this camp!!!"

Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick was on hand with the FOX crew since they will be broadcasting Friday's game. Billick was chatting up General Manager Ozzie Newsome.

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