Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh talks about several of the players fighting at the opening practice at M&T Bank Stadium and the play of running back Terrance West. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
On the next-to-last play from scrimmage in what had been a fairly quiet and routine practice Monday in Owings Mills, Ravens rookie cornerback Sam Brown tried for an interception as tight end Daniel Brown was battling safety Terrence Brooks on a crossing pattern.
As Brooks tipped the ball away, the Browns collided. It appeared as if the shoulder of Sam Brown, a 6-1, 180-pound rookie free agent, caught the 6-5, 243-pound second-year converted wide receiver flush in the jaw. Daniel Brown stayed down for a few minutes and still seemed woozy as he walked off the field.
"In order for me to go for an interception, I had to go through the receiver it was [being] thrown to and his defender," Sam Brown said later. "Everything happened so fast and late, I basically had a split second to go for the ball, protect myself. Either way, if I had went for the ball, we would have collided."
Sam Brown said he braced for the collision, but Daniel Brown kept running toward him.
"Obviously I had seen him, but he never saw me at all," Sam Brown said. "I was able to brace for it but he wasn't. No intent at all to hit him. I feel bad, I feel real bad, No intent to do that to my teammate. Next time at the last second I could try to get out of the way. I didn't think bracing would do that much [harm]. You live and you learn. I know for next time."
Sam Brown said he went up to Daniel Brown as Harbaugh was checking on the tight end.
"Coach Harbaugh was speaking to him. I went up to apologize, but I don't think he even noticed that I came up," Sam Brown said. "[Daniel Brown] was still going through the situation with the injury. Yeah man, it was a complete accident."
Sam Brown said Harbaugh talked to him after the team huddled in the middle of the field as Daniel Brown was being attended to by trainers.
"Coach just told me to be a little more careful next time and understand that was my teammate," Sam Brown said. "He just coached me up through it and I appreciate it. I'll do better next time."
Harbaugh was happy to see Daniel Brown "seemed OK, he seemed fine." While he acknowledged that Sam Brown "didn't do it intentionally," and that there was some disagreement between practice officials whether it was a high hit, Harbaugh wasn't pleased with the fact that it came on a fourth-down pass play.
"Fourth down at the end of the game, we want to get off the field on defense," Harbaugh said. "We don't need that kind of penalty right there. That's where it starts, No. 1. … We try to do the best we can to take care of one another and avoid those kind of things."
Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.