Ravens camp highlights: Practice gets a little heated

August 15, 2012|By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun

CAMP BATTLE?: The first official fight of training camp took place Wednesday -- the last camp practice that will be held at the Under Armour Performance Center this summer -- and it was a good one. Defensive end Arthur Jones and center Gino Gradkowski wrestled each other to the ground during one play. Jones wound up on top and both started swinging. Then offensive tackle Jah Reid was swarmed by a group of defenders, including safety Bernard Pollard, and dozens of players jumped in to either get a few shots in or attempt to play peacemaker. Once the players separated themselves, it was back to business and the practice ended without another incident.

OHER AND CODY COME THROUGH: Head coach John Harbaugh ended the heated practice on a fun note, challenging offensive tackle Michael Oher and nose tackle Terrence Cody to catch high-arching punts from Sam Koch. If they caught one, their respective afternoon meetings would be canceled. Oher coolly dismissed the offense by fielding his punt with ease. But Cody made it interesting, pulling the ball into his body with one hand to give the defense an early night off, too. The players cheered and jumped up and down afterward.

BILLICK IN THE HOUSE: Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick, who steered the franchise to its only Super Bowl title, attended practice in advance of Friday night's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, which will be telecast on FOX. Early in practice, Billick chatted for a few minutes with G.M. Ozzie Newsome and assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta. He towered over DeCosta and put his arm around his shoulder as the three talked.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was a popular target in practice. He made a pair of strong-handed catches with a cornerback draped on his back, including one in which he outwrestled Cary Williams for a pass. He caught a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco during a 7-on-7 drill inside the red zone. And he made a few catches underneath the coverage.

NEWCOMER WATCH: Rookie offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele, who was back at right tackle with the first-team offense, held his ground all afternoon in pass protection. Whether he was up against linebackers like Sergio Kindle or Paul Kruger or a defensive end like rookie Terrence Moore, Osemele used his strength and wide wingspan to keep pass rushers outside of the pocket.

INJURIES: Safety Ed Reed, guard Bobbie Williams and wide receiver Jacoby Jones returned to practice. Wide receiver Torrey Smith (ankle) did not and is questionable for Friday night’s game. Others not participating included wide receivers Devin Goda (undisclosed) and David Reed (knee); tight ends Dennis Pitta (hand) and Ed Dickson (shoulder); linebackers Josh Bynes (back), Darryl Blackstock (groin) and Terrell Suggs (knee); and defensive tackle Ryan McBean (ankle).

OVERHEARD: “Coleman, I was hoping you would get in the middle of that.” -- running back Ray Rice to 105.7 The Fan radio personality Jerry Coleman after the practice scuffle settled down.

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