Before the first snap of a joint practice session between the Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, the Harbaugh brothers were united on a single topic.
Both chided reporters for being consumed, in their opinion, by the topic of practice brawls.
"What’s interesting to me, and what’s a real indictment on you as the media, is the fact that [Ravens cornerback] Jimmy Smith was asked about it, and he said when he sees these things on TV, all he ever sees is fights," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "What does that tell you? How about a little self-check? We’re probably going to have 99 percent all great, positive things.
"But if there is a little shoving match out here, I’m quite sure that that’s what will be on these cameras, and it’ll be countrywide, and that’ll be everybody’s take on how it went, right? Because that’s how it is all the time. We’re going to look for the positive. You all can look for the negative, as usual."
Added 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh: "I know that there will be many cameras assembled, gathered. And I'm sure that's what everybody's going to be looking for, that moment where you can capture the negative. We don't anticipate that.”
Both coaches have emphasized to their players that they want to focus on improvement and competition, not fighting. John Harbaugh said the contact work will be limited and controlled.
"We’re not tackling to the ground; we’re not cutting and that sort of thing," John Harbaugh said. "If we do any of that, tackling to the ground, we won’t be doing any cutting. But if we do that, it’ll be with the younger guys.”
Jim Harbaugh has maintained a policy to banish players to the locker room after a fight. He recently booted former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin out of practice following a practice skirmish.
John Harbaugh said he'll evaluate each confrontation on a case-by-case basis.
“Our idea is to practice fast,” John said. “There may be a skirmish out here, but we're going to get back on the ball and get a play going. Because we really don't have time to do anything besides working.”
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