The Ravens are officially on their summer hiatus now, having wrapped up minicamp last week. When they return to their Owings Mills complex to being training camp in July, they will also begin preparing for a whole new role: training camp hosts for another NFL team.
In a first for the Ravens, they will hold joint practices with Jim Harbaugh's 49ers team after the teams play the preseason opener on Thursday, Aug. 7. They are scheduled to hold a workout at M&T Bank Stadium the next day, and then three days of workouts at the Ravens Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.
Speaking after the Ravens final minicamp practice last week, Harbaugh suggested that the Ravens will return the favor.
"We will go back to San Francisco at some point in time – probably next year," Harbaugh said. " We’ll see if it works out. We’re looking forward to it."
"I’m excited about the fact that we’ve never done it before [and] we are going against a program that we understand what they’re all about," Harbaugh added. "We’re not bringing some program in here that we don’t trust [or a team] that doesn’t believe in what we believe in as far as hard work. It’s going to be a program that mirrors what we’re trying to do as far as working hard. To me, that’s really important."
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Things might get a little crowded at the Owings Mills complex with 180 players -- each team figures to carry its full 90-player allotment through early training camp -- plus coaches and staff, but Harbaugh said space won't be an issue and facing one of the NFL's premier teams for four or five days should only help his team get better.
" We want to go against the best," he said. "We’re going to get out here for four days against those guys and get after it and test ourselves and try to become a better football team.”
He joked that, "Hopefully the two head coaches won’t get locked in any kind of death grip, and we’ll be OK. ... Dad will be breaking up all fights between the head coaches.”