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Ravens coach John Harbaugh moves on after missing out on Gerald McCoy

Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Gerald McCoy didn’t want to be a Raven, and now coach John Harbaugh is moving on.

“We went after him, tried to get him, and he didn’t want to be here,” Harbaugh said after Thursday’s organized team activities. “He wanted to be somewhere else.”

The Ravens pursued the six-time Pro Bowl selection after he mutually parted ways with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, but the defensive tackle announced Tuesday that he was joining the Carolina Panthers.

After hosting McCoy for a visit last week, Harbaugh told reporters that he had told McCoy, “You haven’t been here yet, but to my mind, you’re a Raven.”

Asked about McCoy on Thursday, Harbaugh said he was focused only on his team.

“I move on and forget about him until we play him,” Harbaugh said. “And I don’t think we play Carolina, do we? So I’m not worried about him.”

Getting Pierce paid

Despite his absence from the three OTAs open to media over the past month, defensive tackle Michael Pierce has high expectations awaiting him.

“When the guy gets moving, it’s hard to stop him,” defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. “I expect big things out of him.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Pierce ranked as the NFL’s fifth-best interior defender overall and the fourth best against the run last season. He had the analytics website's best-ever grade for a Ravens interior defender, a period that dates to 2006.

After signing a restricted free agent tender this offseason, Pierce will enter the season in the final year of his rookie contract. He’s said he wants to remain with the Ravens long term, but he could be a coveted free agent next year.

“I told him ... ‘Let’s get paid this year. Let’s go out there and ball out, you know, get the bag,’ ” said Williams, who signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension two years ago. “Everyone wants that second contract, so let’s get him one.”

Hurst held out

Harbaugh said tight end Hayden Hurst was sidelined from practice Thursday for precautionary reasons.

Two weeks ago, Hurst suffered a hamstring injury, Harbaugh said. The 2018 first-round pick played through it last Thursday, standing out at times through practice. But Harbaugh said Hurst “was pushing it so hard, I finally pulled him out. Like, let’s get this thing ready for minicamp, and you’ll be fine.”

Hurst and Pierce were among 13 missing players Thursday. Also absent were wide receivers Marquise Brown (foot) and Seth Roberts, guards Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis, outside linebackers Pernell McPhee and Matthew Judon, cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey, Cyrus Jones and Jimmy Smith, and safeties Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson (ankle).

Brown, who is expected to be ready for training camp, did not participate in drills but worked on a separate field, catching passes from a Jugs machine. Wide receiver Miles Boykin and running back Kenneth Dixon returned to practice after missing the previous two OTAs.

Extra points

>> Safety DeShon Elliott made a diving interception of a throw from Robert Griffin III near the sideline during seven-on-seven drills. “He covers a lot of ground. You saw it on that play,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to make a mark.”

>> Former Navy and Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson attended practice to meet with Ravens coaches. Harbaugh said his father’s offense at Western Kentucky, a triple-option offense, was the same as Johnson’s. “We’re sometimes teaching, always learning, and we have a chance to learn and ask a lot of questions,” Harbaugh said.

>> Mandatory minicamp, the final portion of the Ravens’ offseason calendar, will run from Tuesday to July 13.

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