49ers with Matt Barrows

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49ers-Ravens Day 3: Teams deem sessions a smashing success; 49ers dodge injuries

08/11/2014 2:27 PM

08/11/2014 2:32 PM

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Jim Harbaugh acknowledged that NFL players and coaches are accustomed to high-end accommodations and that when something isn't up to snuff there is plenty of griping.

The suggestion box after the 49ers' six-day trip to Baltimore, however, is empty.

“Not one complaint,” Harbaugh said. “That's rare. That's rare to get.”

His brother, John, agreed, saying his Ravens squad got a “week's-plus worth of work” during the three-day session, which wrapped up with a non-padded practice on Monday. The 49ers flew back to California Monday afternoon, will have a day off Tuesday, and will resume training camp practices in Santa Clara on Wednesday.

Jim Harbaugh said there were a dozen reasons the joint practices were a success. One of the top ones is that the first-team offense, which was on the field for just seven plays in Thursday's exhibition opener, got plenty of work against the Ravens' formidable defense.

Both Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick said that Baltimore is adept at “disguising” its defenses and that sessions were a valuable learning experience.

“You’re going against guys you’re not going to be playing with on Sundays, so you get different looks, you get different players, you get different techniques from them,” Kaepernick said. “So you have to pick up all those things in practice like you would in a game.”

The sessions ended with the two teams coming together at midfield to shake hands and with nary a fight.

"I think I won the office pool because they had the over-under on my fights,” joked notoriously pugnacious Ravens receiver Steve Smith. “And I had zero."

Asked if the success of the practices means the 49ers will host the Ravens next summer, Jim Harbaugh noted that, unlike this season, the teams play each other in Santa Clara in 2015.

“We'll make that decision next year, and if not, possibly the year after,” he said.


Dodging bullets – When guard Adam Snyder went down clutching his left knee Sunday, the injury looked bad.

Snyder didn't practice Monday, but he attended the session and was walking without a limp.

“We dodged bullets,” Jim Harbaugh said. In fact, he said the injury news also was good for receiver Quinton Patton and linebacker Shayne Skov, both of whom left Sunday's practice but were back in uniform on Monday.


Pitcher's dual – Before he was scheduled to pitch against the Yankees Monday evening, Orioles right hander Bud Norris watched the Ravens and 49ers practice. He wasn't cheering on the home team.

“I've been a Niners fans since I was born,” said the Novato native, who was wearing a red “Niners” jersey during the morning practice.

Norris said he he's attended several 49ers games in recent years, including the Super Bowl matchup against the home-team Ravens.

“All the fans in Baltimore give me a hard time about it via Twitter,” he said.

As a rule, starting pitchers are off limits to reporters before a game. Apparently, they make an exception when they're at a football practice.


Davis shines – Jim Harbaugh said tight end Vernon Davis, who played nearby at the University of Maryland, was one of the standouts of the three-day practices. Davis connected on a 99-yard touchdown with quarterback Josh Johnson in Sunday's session.

“By the way, Vernon Davis is quietly having a great camp. On his assignments,” Harbaugh said. “In great shape. Doing just one heck of a job.”

About This Blog

Matt Barrows was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Sacramento Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green. Reach Barrows at mbarrows@sacbee.com.
Twitter: @mattbarrows

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