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John Harbaugh: Ravens 'Got A Lot Out Of' First Joint Practice With Jaguars

August 5, 2019
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens players said they were just happy to see different jerseys and helmets for a change. 

The Ravens conducted the first of two joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 5, and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said his team "got a lot out of it," as they prepare to open the preseason schedule against the Jaguars Aug. 8. 

"Plays are different, tempo is different, everything is different," Harbaugh said. "See how we respond to it. It felt good. I was on the offensive field today except for the team period and I thought the offense had a good day."

For much of practice, the teams split up onto two of the Ravens' three practice fields, with the Ravens' offense matched up with the Jaguars' defense on one field, and the Ravens' defense facing the Jaguars' offense on another.

"We all play in this league for a reason," Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said, "and to be able to go against the top talent from another team is a lot of fun."

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson started strong and cooled off later in practice. He connected early on a couple of nice throws to Chris Moore, and during a two-minute drill, Jackson hit Mark Andrews and Willie Snead a couple of times before misfiring on a few throws as the drive stalled.

The best throws of the day actually came from backup quarterbacks Trace McSorley and Joe Callahan.

McSorley had one of his best days of camp, firing a long completion to Antoine Wesley and hitting Michael Floyd in a tight window on the right sideline in 11-on-11 drills. McSorley and Wesley also connected in 7-on-7 drills, as the undrafted receiver from Texas Tech continues to make his best case for a roster spot.

The best throw of the day came from Callahan, the fourth-string quarterback. Late in practice, he lofted a 40-yard touchdown pass that hit undrafted rookie receiver Jaylen Smith right in stride. After Smith ran through the end zone, virtually the entire receiver group and Jackson -- Smith's college teammate at Louisville -- ran to the end zone to celebrate with him. It was a memorable moment for the roster longshot.

On the defensive field, the Ravens were challenged by a Jaguars offense led by former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles, who signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars this offseason. Foles had some success, particularly on play-action and in the red zone, but the Ravens' defense did come up with a few notable plays.

The biggest was by linebacker Tyus Bowser, who scored on a pick-six interception return after catching a pass that tipped off the hands of running back Devante Mays. 

"I saw the running back going toward the flat," Bowser explained. "I figured it was going to be a little bit too high. ... It fell right in my hands."

Bowser, entering his third season, is a former second-round draft pick who has yet to deliver on his Day Two draft status. With the loss of Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith to free agency, Bowser, 24, knows the opportunity is there more than ever before to have an impact. 

Bowser, who totaled five tackles and a half-sack in limited duty last year, is listed as the backup to Matthew Judon at outside linebacker, and he said the key for him to carve out a larger role on the team this year is "going out and making plays, just like I did today."


ALEX LEWIS TRADED TO JETS: Offensive guard Alex Lewis has been traded to the New York Jets pending a physical, both teams announced. NFL Network reported that the deal was for a conditional seventh-round draft pick. Ravens coach John Harbaugh had no comment about the deal when asked after practice, saying only that any such announcement would come at the appropriate time. 

Lewis announced on his Instagram account earlier in the day that the Ravens had released him, but apparently trade talks were in the works as the Ravens sought some return on their former fourth-round pick whose career has been marred by injuries. 

The move is somewhat surprising given that Lewis has starting experience at left guard, a spot that is wide open. But he has been bothered by injuries throughout his career and didn't endear himself to the Ravens organization when he chose to rehabilitate his surgically repaired shoulder away from team staff this offseason. 

Lewis, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado in 2016, started eight games at left guard and two at left tackle as a rookie, but missed the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury. He started 10 games last season but was shut down late in the season by a shoulder injury. In three years with the Ravens, he appeared in 20 of 48 games.

"Thank you to the Baltimore Ravens for drafting me back in 2016 and giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL," Lewis wrote on Instagram. "It has been a memorable three years. ... Thank you Baltimore! As one door closes, another opens."

MOMENT OF SILENCE: Before the joint practice began, the Ravens and Jaguars assembled together on a field, took a knee and offered a prayer and a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

"I thought that was a really powerful thing," Harbaugh said. "We all took a knee together and held hands and wanted to honor the people involved there. Just a tragedy."

CRECELIUS THE ONLY ABSENCE: Reserve offensive lineman Randin Crecelius was the only Ravens player who didn't suit up for the joint practice Aug. 5. He remains sidelined by an undisclosed injury. First-round draft pick Marquise Brown again did some individual work but no team drills as he eases back from offseason surgery on a Lisfranc foot injury. 

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox