As Head Coach John Harbaugh said before Saturday's joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers, they were in "uncharted water."
Teams around the NFL have been practicing against each other in training camp for years. But this is the first time anyone's ever done it following a preseason game.
The first day went off without a hitch. The two teams practiced hard and physical, but perhaps most importantly, they were respectful.
"We just told our teams – we both said the same thing, essentially – 'We're here to get better,'" John Harbaugh said.
"Three days from now we want to be a better football team, and we can't think of a better team to accomplish that feat than with the San Francisco 49ers."
When two San Francisco offensive linemen blocked Ravens undrafted rookie defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali'I to the ground, both 49ers helped lift him off the ground. A couple of Ravens blockers later did the same for a 49er.
There wasn't hardly a peep of trash talk between the two teams, at least not any loud enough to hear on the sidelines. They got after it and came out of practice seemingly without any major injuries.
Here are some notes from Day 1:
- Ravens inside linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) returned to the practice field. He didn't play in the first preseason game.
- It's interesting to watch how the two teams approach practice differently. The Ravens jumped into more physical work right away while the 49ers did more calisthenics at the start.
- The two teams didn't practice on separate fields much. There was a lot of interaction with the Ravens offense going against the 49ers defense on one field, and vice versa the next field over. The Ravens picked off 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick once in 7-on-7 work. Cornerback Chykie Brown got him on a deflected pass by linebacker Albert McClellan.
- Brown had another good play when he stripped former Ravens wide receiver David Reed off the ball and recovered his own forced fumble.
- These are two extremely strong-armed quarterbacks. Watching Joe Flacco and Kaepernick zipping balls around is impressive.
- The Ravens caught a few bombs against San Francisco's defense. Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who continued his strong training camp with another good practice, caught one off his shoe top laces just before the ball hit the turf. Rookie seventh-round receiver Michael Campanaro and second-year wideout Marlon Brown also caught long touchdowns.
- 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has a somewhat different role from that of his brother in practice. Jim goes into the huddle to call each play for his first-team offense. John stands in the middle of the field behind the offense.
- The quote of the day came from (no surprise) outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. After safety Jeromy Miles dropped what should have been an interception on Kaepernick, Suggs yelled, "Way to embarrass your coach!"
- Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome took in practice seated alongside 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke.
- The Harbaugh brothers were mostly on opposite fields from each other, both stationed with their first-team offenses. They chatted for a long while at the start of practice and did some coaching side-by-side, but weren't together the entire practice.
- Ravens guard Ryan Jensen got banged up on one play and limped off the field. He later returned to full action.
- Kicker Justin Tucker hit a 64-yard field goal and yelled out, "Wooooo, let's go!"
- Wide receiver Jacoby Jones continues to show off good hands. He was very effective catching slant routes across the middle, even hauling in touch throws into traffic.