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,” the 49ers’ coach said. “That’s rare.”
His brother, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, agreed, saying the Ravens got a “week’s-plus worth of work” during three days of joint practices, which wrapped up with a non-padded session Monday. After the practice, the 49ers flew back to California; they have a day off today and will resume training camp practices in Santa Clara on Wednesday.
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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 against Baltimore, got plenty of work against the Ravens’ formidable defense.
Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Baltimore is adept at “disguising” its defenses and that the 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 players 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 wide 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 meet in 2015.
“We’ll make that decision next year, and if not, possibly the year after,” he said.
The injury front – When 49ers guard Adam Snyder went down clutching his left knee Sunday, it looked like a bad injury.
Snyder didn’t practice Monday, but he attended the session and was walking without a limp.
“We dodged bullets,” Harbaugh said.
The injury news also was good for wide receiver Quinton Patton and linebacker Shayne Skov, who both left Sunday’s practice but were back in uniform Monday.
Pitcher’s dual – Before he was scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees on Monday evening, Baltimore Orioles right-hander Bud Norris watched the Ravens and 49ers practice. He wasn’t cheering for the home team.
“I’ve been a Niners fans since I was born,” said Norris, a Novato native who was wearing a red “Niners” jersey during the morning practice.
Norris said he’s attended several 49ers games in recent years, including the Super Bowl against the Ravens.
“All the fans in Baltimore give me a hard time about it via Twitter,” he said.
Starting pitchers are normally off limits to reporters before a game. Apparently, they make an exception when they’re at a football practice.
Davis shines – Harbaugh said tight end Vernon Davis, who played nearby at the University of Maryland, was one of the standouts of the joint 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,” Harbaugh said. “On his assignments. In great shape. Doing just one heck of a job.”