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Preseason Opener Looms For Ravens After Productive Set Of Joint Practices

August 6, 2019
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Other than a couple of minor skirmishes, the Ravens and Jaguars kept the peace in their second straight joint practice Aug. 6., a workout that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called "another great practice ... very physical practice [on] both sides of the ball."

The teams will hold a walk-through Aug. 7 and then square off at M&T Bank Stadium in the preseason opener Aug. 8. 

"We got a lot done. They got a lot done," Harbaugh said after the first of two such interactions this preseason; the Ravens and Eagles will take part in joint practices in Philadelphia Aug. 19 and 20.

Joint practices have become increasingly commonplace around the league as teams look to break the monotony of training camp by squaring off against another team, which also gives teams a chance to see new looks and new schemes. 

Frequently, these have been marred by fighting, especially on the second consecutive day of physical workouts in the summer heat, but there was none of that at the Under Armour Performance Center this week.

At one point during a red zone drill, the teams came together in a pushing match, with Jaguars receiver DJ Chark and Ravens safety DeShon Elliott jawing at each other, but the teams were separated without incident.

"There were a couple of guys talking, I think two plays the whole practice. ... Nobody wants to be the first guy to walk away, but I thought everybody kept their discipline very well," Harbaugh said.

The biggest play of the day came at the expense of the Ravens, as Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles aired out a 65-yard touchdown pass to receiver Chris Conley, who got a step on Jimmy Smith down the left sideline. 

The Ravens' offense had an uneven day in full-team drills. In a red-zone period, Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews connected on a touchdown pass, with Andrews going up over linebacker Myles Jack to come down with the tough catch. Later, though, Jack picked off Jackson. 

Jackson started strong in an entertaining 1-on-1 period during which a Raven receiver or tight end squared off against a Jaguars defensive back. Jackson hit Hayden Hurst on a pass play of about 20 yards, and he lofted a pretty 25-yard pass to Willie Snead, though Jaguars cornerback Picasso Nelson made a nice play to deny Snead. One of the best plays in that period was a long pass from backup quarterback Trace McSorley to Seth Roberts, who was covered by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. 

"Hats off to Coach [Doug] Marrone and the whole Jaguars organization," Harbaugh said. "I thought they were very classy. Everything was very professional on both sides. We got our work done, respected one another and it was good."


HARBAUGH MUM ON STARTERS ROLE IN PRESEASON OPENER: Harbaugh would not say how much Jackson or other projected starters will play -- if at all -- in the Aug. 8 game against the Jaguars. 

"I've got my ideas on it. I think I know," Harbaugh said, noting that the staff would be meeting later to discuss it. Any action for the starters is expected to be brief, making the joint practices all the more valuable.

NICE DAY FOR MOORE: Chris Moore had a couple of strong touchdown catches from Trace McSorley in a 7-on-7 red-zone drill. He went up high just under the goalpost crossbar to snag one catch, and also made a sliding grab across the middle of the end zone. He also had a nice catch from Jackson during 1-on-1 drills. 

TOUCHDOWN RETURN FOR ALAKA: Roster longshot Otaro Alaka had his highlight-reel camp moment when he scooped up a fumble and returned it about 25 yards for a touchdown. The rookie from Texas A&M is seeking to become the latest undrafted rookie inside linebacker to make the team and has been getting reps with the second unit, though his path to the roster could be complicated by the Ravens use of safeties such as Anthony Levine in dime situations. 

CRECELIUS AGAIN THE ONLY ABSENCE: The Ravens again had virtually the entire team suited up for the joint practice. Only reserve lineman Randin Crecelius sat out. He has been sidelined by an undisclosed injury for the past two weeks. Rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown again did some individual work but did not take part in any team drills. 

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox