Ravens Notebook: Tempers flare at camp

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: Tempers flare at camp

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WESTMINSTER — Under the unforgiving sun, tempers boiled over Tuesday morning in Westminster at the Baltimore Ravens’ training camp.


Outspoken cornerback Frank Walker and wide receiver Yamon Figurs squared off after Figurs reacted to being tackled by Walker by delivering a head slap.


Then, Walker took control of the short confrontation by taking Figurs down to the ground. A few errant punches were thrown and other players joined in the scrum before peace was restored.


"It was a just a little heat of the moment," Figurs said. "It’s just hot out here and you get frustrated."


A few plays later, Figurs got his revenge by catching a touchdown pass behind cornerback Evan Oglesby.


There were no injuries suffered in the altercation. And, apparently, there are no hard feelings.


"It just happens like that sometimes between the lines in practice," Walker said. "We’ve been going at this for two weeks now. We’re just after each other. We’re all competing to get on the field. Everybody really wants to be a Raven. It’s almost like, ‘By any means necessary.’


"It’s just a little frustration, a little tussle. We shook hands after that. It’s all good. I had him on the ground, but I didn’t throw a punch because his helmet came off. We’re definitely looking forward to competing against another team."


The Ravens will be able to take out their aggressiveness Thursday night when they open the preseason against the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium.


Walker had a talk with Coach John Harbaugh about the incident followed by them shaking hands.


"Coach Harbaugh knows it’s football," Walker said. "He understands the game. He knows what’s going on and that sometimes tempers flare."


Walker, who was prone to penalties last season and constantly talks trash on the field, said he hasn’t completely turned over a new leaf.


"I’m definitely not a sleeping dog," he said. "I’m not all the way gone. They haven’t sedated me."


INJURY UPDATES: In addition to wide receiver Derrick Mason dislocating his finger midway through the morning workout, several other players didn’t practice.


That includes wide receivers Mark Clayton (strained left hamstring), Demetrius Williams (right hamstring), Biren Ealy (groin) and Thomas White (hamstring), offensive tackles Jared Gaither (left trapezius) and Stefan Rodgers (calf, heel), tight end Todd H eap (lower back), defensive end Trevor Pryce (left foot), defensive tackle Lamar Divens (hip flexor), linebacker Terrell Suggs (left heel, Achilles’ tendon) and cornerback Samari Rolle (neck).


Rolle remains on the physically unable to perform list.


Williams, Gaither and Heap all declared that they’ll play against the Redskins.


"I’ll be fine," Williams said. "I just tweaked it a little bit. It’s not a big deal."


"I’m definitely going to play," Gaither said.


However, Clayton, Rolle and Suggs aren’t expected to play. And Pryce and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (sprained toe) are regarded as question marks.


Harbaugh declined to specify who won’t be playing against the Redskins and seemed to get annoyed while answering repeated injury questions.


"You know the guys," he said. "It’s not hard to figure out."


There’s no timetable at this point for Suggs’ return.


"It’s one of those things where we’re not going to put him out there and bruise it any further," Harbaugh said. "He’ll be out here soon."


Offensive guard Marshal Yanda was given the day off to rest his knee and doesn’t expect to play against Washington.


"The knee feels great, we just want to make sure we’re not overworking it," Yanda said. "I haven’t done any live periods yet, so I would assume probably not for Thursday." 


Free safety Ed Reed (nerve impingement) wasn’t wearing a red jersey signifying that he’s off-limits to contact.


"You can’t ask all these questions about who is going to play, but you’ll see on Thursday night who is going to play," Harbaugh said. "I don’t know what the news story is.


"As far as Ed Reed goes, when he takes the red jersey off, it’s because of Joe Flacco knowing exactly where he’s at. It’s strategic on Ed’s part."


Offensive guard Ben Grubbs (ankle) left practice early for treatment with David Hale taking his place.


Wide receiver Ernie Wheelwright practiced after getting banged up Monday.


DISPELLING VICK RUMORS: Contrary to speculation from Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Ravens aren’t expected to pursue quarterback Michael Vick.


Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has repeatedly said whenever asked about Vick that the team likes the three quarterbacks currently on its roster.


The Ravens don’t make sense as a potential destination for Vick for several reasons, including the presence of quarterback Joe Flacco and versatile backup Troy Smith as well as being averse to potential distractions.


Vick has been granted conditional reinstatement by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of serving 23 months for his involvement in dogfighting.


DEBUTS: Rookie offensive tackle Michael Oher, the Ravens’ first-round draft pick, and defensive end-outside linebacker Paul Kruger, a second-round selection, are slated to make their first NFL starts against the Redskins.


"This is what I’ve been waiting on all my life," Oher said. "I’ll be ready. I’ll probably just have the normal amount of nerves. Never go a play without blocking somebody because it feels bad and it hurts your team."


Kruger is eager to experience the increased speed of an actual game situation.


"The coaches were saying this is a different world out there,” Kruger said. “I’m excited to show them what I can do."


OGDEN VISITS CAMP: Former Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, who retired prior to last season, said he has no regrets about his decision.


"None, zero," Ogden said while visiting camp Tuesday. "When you did it as long as I did, you know. You eventually just say, ‘You know what, it’s time to go.’


"Brett Favre played quarterback. They don’t get hit every single play of every single day. When linemen retire, they’re gone. They don’t come back."


After watching former Ravens safety Rod Woodson’s Hall of Fame induction, Ogden is looking forward to his Canton moment in the future.


"Hopefully in a couple years from now, I’ll be up there," Ogden said. "I’ll be the first lifetime Raven, and that’ll be special. I don’t talk about it because I’m superstitious, but if that does happen, I hope the whole city will be up there with me because it’d be for the city as much as for me."


QUICK HITS: Rookie kicker Graham Gano converted all 10 of his field goal attempts, nailing each of his tries from beyond 40 yards. … Oniel Cousins lined up at left tackle in Gaither’s place. … Smith connected with Wheelwright for a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. … Cornerback Chris Carr intercepted Smith. … Tight end Edgar Jones turned in an acrobatic leaping, left-handed catch. … Also visiting practice: former Ravens wide receiver Michael Jackson and defensive end Rob Burnett as well as former Baltimore Colts Tom Matte, Bruce Laird and Stan White. … Today’s practice is closed to fans and the media.


Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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