It’s not the first time two different teams in the NFL have practiced together… Heck, the old Colts used to scrimmage with the Redskins and the Eagles a lot on a part-time basis… and lately the Eagles and the Patriots have become bosom buddies…
But John and Jim Harbaugh have taken the joint practice concept to a whole new level…
Not only have there been no fights or skirmishes between individual 49ers and Ravens this past weekend, but these guys genuinely seem to be getting along very well with each other in close quarters.
Maybe it’s a “Gladiator Fraternity” kind of thing…
I love it!
Despite all the mutual good will, there have been casualties.
Kapron Lewis-Moore, the young DE hopeful of the Ravens, is out for the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the practice session on Sunday.
“The former Notre Dame star saw snaps with the starters in offseason and training-camp practices. He was expected to play a big role in the defensive line rotation behind Chris Canty and Brandon Williams. Instead, the 2013 sixth-round draft pick will miss a second consecutive season after a torn ACL sidelined him as a rookie.” — Chris Wesseling, “Around the League” writer for NFL.com
That totally sucks for Lewis-Moore, but it was no fault of the 49ers.
Ironically this opens up a huge hunk of potential playing time for rookie Timmy Jernigan and teammate DeAngelo Tyson…
The two teams have been sharing facilities for three days now and yet the interaction has been peaceful and brotherly— and why not? Their head coaches really are brothers!
There’s been no trash talk— zero. The word around the Castle has been “respect”…
“We just told our teams – we both said the same thing, essentially – ‘We’re here to get better,’” John Harbaugh said.
“Three days from now we want to be a better football team, and we can’t think of a better team to accomplish that feat than with the San Francisco 49ers.”
When two San Francisco offensive linemen blocked Ravens undrafted rookie defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’I to the ground, both 49ers helped lift him off the ground. A couple of Ravens blockers later did the same for a 49er.
The two teams didn’t practice on separate fields much. There was a lot of interaction with the Ravens offense going against the 49ers defense on one field, and vice versa the next field over. The Ravens picked off 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick once in 7-on-7 work. Cornerback Chykie Brown got him on a deflected pass by linebacker Albert McClellan.
It’s been a remarkable weekend of inter-team workouts. I think this approach could be the wave of the future.
Don’t get me wrong— guys on opposing teams were really getting after one another in the various drills— 7-on-7, 11-on-11, and goal-line and red-zone challenges. Yet the contact was clean and the language was conciliatory.
Kudos to the Harbaugh brothers for laying out a practice program that was not only competitive on an individual basis but also respectful to both teams’ organizations.
Too bad Lewis-Moore went down with the Achilles injury— but I am told both teams gathered around the injured athlete, and then gathered together in a joint prayer for the well-being of the fallen player.
Man, if only you could export that kind of class and empathy to Palestine and Israel right now…