San Francisco 49ers

Harbaugh brothers united: media obsessed with practice-field fights

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- When it comes to the issue of practice-field fisticuffs, the Harbaugh brothers are on the same page: Fights usually are trumped up by the media.

“What's interesting to me and what's a real indictment on you as the media is the fact that (cornerback) Jimmy Smith was asked about it, and he said that when he sees them on TV all he ever sees is fights,” John Harbaugh said. “What does that tell you? How 'bout a little self check? We're probably going to have 99 percent all great positive things, but if there is a little shoving match out here, I'm quite sure that that's what will be on these cameras and that will be country wide.”

Said Jim: “I know that there will be many cameras assembled, gathered. And I'm sure that's what everybody's going to be looking for – that moment where you can capture the negative. We don't anticipate that.”

Jim Harbaugh has said that the message to players – on both sides – has been to treat the opposing team like you would your own teammate. All of the practices, today through Monday, are scheduled to be full-padded affairs.

Linebackers from one squad will practice pass-rush drills against running backs and tight ends from the other. Cornerbacks will test their press-coverage skills against the other team's wide receivers. John Harbaugh said there will be no tackling, cut-blocking or taking opponents to the ground.

In Santa Clara, Jim Harbaugh's policy has been to send a combatant to the locker room or at least to the sideline after a fight. John Harbaugh said he treats dust ups on a case-by-case basis.

“Our idea is to practice fast,” John said. “There may be a skirmish out here, but we're going to get back on the ball and get a play going. Because we really don't have time to do anything besides working.”

The 49ers and Ravens went through a walk-through session together this morning, then filed through the same double doors to their respective locker room areas. Practice begins at 2:45 p.m.

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