With what coach John Harbaugh called "one of the toughest practices of the year" not producing the results he wanted on defense, the eighth-year head coach started providing the intensity himself.
"It's always the one where the coach — at least in my case, this coach — gets a little crazy because it's a tough step to take from the hitting level of intensity to this level of intensity," Harbaugh said. "You push them hard, and they responded very well. We've got a bunch of tough guys, and really what we're trying to build is a tough team. This is how it's done."
The practice began with goal line drills and also included short-yardage and late-game situations. Harbaugh made sure the jump in intensity was sustained early in practice.
After a successful series of goal line stands by veteran defensive tackles Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Tyson, the second team didn't fare as well. Harbaugh let them know.
"No Ravens D-line that I can remember gets run over on the goal line. Are you [kidding] me?" he shouted. As the series continued, he did too. Second-year defensive end Brent Urban became a target, and when Urban seemed to shake his head at the coach, Harbaugh continued in on him.
"You can shake your head all you want, 96," Harbaugh called out. "You have no idea what you're about to face."
"It's tough to transition into it — that's trench warfare down there," Harbaugh said. "That's tough down in there, and I thought the [second team] D-line wasn't coming off the ball explosively enough … or low enough. … They just needed to get lower and more explosive on the goal line. They should not be running the ball in from the 2-yard line, ever."
Even the practice officials faced Harbaugh's fire. "You're getting lunch and you're getting paid," he reminded them, telling them the least they could at least be aware of the situation the Ravens were trying to simulate.