“Iron sharpens iron” has been the phrase of the last three days as the Ravens hosted the 49ers for their first ever joint practice in the organization’s history.
Each team embraced the same goal — to get better!
“You could never replicate … I feel like we had a week-plus worth of work in, and it’s not just because of the tempo or the attention to detail, which is part of it. It’s the fact that you see schemes that you’re not going to see,” head coach John Harbaugh stated after the team concluded their three day joint practice on Monday.
“You could practice for months out here, [but] we’re not going to see the things we see because our team doesn’t do those things [on] both sides of the ball. So, [it was] very valuable work.”
With the new rules in place for training camp due in large part to the 2011 CBA, these practices are becoming increasingly popular throughout the NFL. With practice times limited, these practices allow for more competition and allow coaches and front office personnel to more effectively gauge performances and develop more thorough evaluations of players.
Steve Smith Sr. “Practice Makes Perfect”
Freshly clad in the purple and black Steve Smith Sr. brought his unquestionable work ethic to Baltimore this offseason and the veteran wide receiver believes what you do in practice reflects on how one plays the game.
“There was a key third down [during practice] … If I dropped the ball like I did today, then I’m not going to be very good,” responded Smith Sr. when asked on Monday what he brought to the Ravens offense.
“Just concentrating, making sure that I keep myself at a high level, keep myself entertained and keep challenging myself. I tell guys, ‘Make a play a day.’ If you’re making a play a day and being consistent always working on something … I work on something every single day. [If] I keep that mindset, [then] it’ll work out for me.”
The firey wide receiver has had an outstanding camp drawing praise from his fellow teammates and coaches including John Harbaugh.
“He is phenomenal, he is a tremendous player, he is a tremendous person, he is a leader, he is a competitor, and he is smart. I can’t say enough about him.”
While Steve is another year older entering into the 2014 season, the veteran wideout is proving that with proper preparation and focus age is just a number and not a detriment.
Flacco and Suggs draw praise from Kaepernick
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick offered his sentiments on an abundance of topics following practice on Monday, including his respect for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and the way he plays the game.
“Yeah. Got to talk to him a little bit. Real calm. He’s always just calm, mellow. Good dude. I like him as a quarterback,” Kaepernick stated.
“He just sits back there and he picks people apart. Throws a great deep ball, which I’m a fan of homerun balls. Just happy to see him again. It was good catching up.”
Some thought the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII victory over the 49ers could lead to some tense moments on the field and pave the way to a few scrums.
“No. You have to move on from that. At this point, that’s two years ago. We’re focused on this season and getting better and trying to win a Super Bowl this year,” explained the fleet-footed signal caller.
“This is the best way for us to get better, so we came out here, we practiced and tried to get ourselves better and the Ravens better.”
One Ravens player who poked and prodded Kaepernick and company a bit was Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. For three days “Sizzle” was his vocal self and could be heard yelling at several 49ers players in good fun.
“I just like talking to him. I like messing with him, ” Kapernick stated about facing Suggs in practice.
“He’s a high-energy guy. He’s always working. He’s always going to be talking a little bit. I like that. You have to have that on a football field.”
While these two teams aren’t slated to play one another in 2014 unless each achieve their goal of getting to the Super Bowl in Arizona, you can bet it won’t be as friendly as it was at the Under Armour Performance Center during the past three days.
“We’re both trying to get better as a team and make sure we’re prepared for this season. Hopefully, we see them during the season because if we do, it’s in the Super Bowl.”
Sounds like a plan Colin.
There’s nothing the Ravens and John Harbaugh would like more than another chance to remain unbeaten in the Harbaugh Bowl games.
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