Ravens, 49ers share practice digs at Saints' facility

NEW ORLEANS -- — The Harbaugh brothers always shared a bedroom growing up.

Now, their football teams are dividing up usage of the New Orleans Saints' practice facility.


After the Ravens expressed concerns about the hard surface of an artificial turf practice field at Tulane University, they shifted practice to Metairie, La.

Using 100 feet of piping drapes to block the views of both teams and covering up windows in the weight room, the NFL football operations staff and Saints worked to separate the teams from being able to watch each other Thursday.


"Just cooperating spirits," Jim Harbaugh told a pool reporter. "We're focused on what we're doing. I'm sure they are the same."

The Ravens practiced outdoors on the Saints' grass fields, at the players' request.

The Ravens held their walkthrough at Tulane before boarding five buses for the eight miles from the college to the Saints' headquarters near Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh characterized the workouts as "a very normal, late-season Thursday practice.' I think our players dealt with it great. As Ray [Lewis] just said to me, 'We work.' That's what we do. Our guys don't flinch at things like this.''


Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs addressed the team for a few minutes.

During the practice, the Ravens had several songs playing, including hard rock of AC/DC to the rap of Soulja Boy and Chief Keef to Metallica.

The Ravens had full participation in practice for the second consecutive day.

Starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and tight end Dennis Pitta both practiced without incident.

Ellerbe returned to practice Wednesday after missing three days last week due to a sprained right ankle, toe injury and a minor back injury, but had already indicated he wouldn't be sidelined for the Super Bowl.

Pitta has been in and out of practice with an inner thigh injury.

The Ravens' injury report stated that everyone participated fully, including wide receiver Tandon Doss (high-ankle sprain), cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring), fullback Vonta Leach (right knee, ankle), middle linebacker Ray Lewis (right triceps), outside linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder), defensive end Pernell McPhee (thigh), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right knee), running back Bernard Pierce (bone bruise right knee, thigh), wide receiver David Reed (hamstring), safety Ed Reed (torn shoulder labrum), cornerback Jimmy Smith (sports hernia surgery) and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (right biceps, right Achilles tendon).

Meanwhile, 49ers linebackers Aldon Smith (shoulder) and Ahmad Brooks (shoulder) were limited in practice again.

The following 49ers on the injury report participated fully: linebacker Navorro Bowman (shoulder), cornerback Tarell Brown (shoulder), tight end Garrett Celek (foot), running back Frank Gore (shoulder, ankle), linebacker Clark Haggans (shoulder) offensive guard Mike Iupati (shoulder), running back LaMichael James (finger), running back Bruce Miller (shoulder), defensive tackle Justin Smith (torn triceps, elbow) and middle linebacker Patrick Willis (shoulder).

The 49ers practiced outside after working indoors Wednesday.

"I thought yesterday was outstanding, but today was a photo copy of that,'' Jim Harbaugh said. "In some ways, it was maybe a little better. I'm real pleased, real pleased. You don't want burnt meat, stale bread or overripe fruit. It's coming along nicely.'"

Meanwhile, outside linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks were limited again for the second consecutive day.

49ers kicker David Akers, who has struggled mightily this season, kicked some field goals while players yelled to create crowd noise. Smith used an amplifier to be even noisier.

And the 49ers used a simulated noise machine.

Harbaugh said that Akers connected on every kick.

"That's the first time they ever have done that in two years,'' Harbaugh said regarding the manufactured crowd noise. "David made all of them, which was even better. His mechanics are real good. That bodes well. Good things will happen for us in that area."


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