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What to Know Before 49ers, Ravens Practice

Posted Aug 9, 2014

Both Harbaughs, Jim and John, met with the media before their teams kicked off three days of padded training camp practices.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens training facility has many of the same family slogans that can be found at the San Francisco 49ers SAP Performance Facility back in  Santa Clara.

It's not a shocker that both head coaches, Jim and John Harbaugh, look at the game in a similar way and share their football ideologies with their respective teams.

"We were raised in the same house, ate the same food, came from the same mother, lived under the same roof for 16 years so they're bound to have some similarities," Jim said.

The familiarity of inspirational signage is one noticeable aspects of the 49ers-Ravens joint training practices that get begin on Saturday. Both Harbaugh brothers stressed that the practices are designed to make each team better before the start of the 2014 regular season.

"What a pleasure it is to be here," Jim said in his opening remarks to both Bay Area and Maryland reporters. "I always feel like you can make a lot of progress as a football team between the first game and the second game. Couldn't have a better place to do it. Tremendous facility. Appreciate the Ravens and it looks like they've gone to a lot of expense and effort to make sure that we have a first-class environment here. So we really appreciate that. Look forward to great work. Look forward to great practice."

John echoed the sentiments of his younger brother.

"We appreciate the 49ers being here," the Ravens coach said. "It takes a lot to pack up a whole team and come across the country in the preseason. We recognize that it really means a lot for them to be here and we're going to try and make the most of it. We both told our teams, we both told them the same thing essentially, we are here to get better.

"In three days, we want to be a better football team and I can't think of a better football team to accomplish that feat than the San Francisco 49ers."

So with that in mind, let's take a look at the interesting comments made by both coaches from their respective press conferences before practices begin in the afternoon.

Welcoming Committee

The Ravens facilities staff painted one of the team's three practice fields with the San Francisco's oval logo in both end zones. The Ravens facility also had 49ers signage throughout the building upon the visiting team's arrival.

"I don't know that two teams have ever been in the same facility for the whole time (they practiced), or have done it after they played a preseason game," John said. "So we're on uncharted water here. We're really happy with that part of it. I think the 49ers are going to feel really comfortable in the facility and are going to be able to get all the work done that they need to get done."

The Harbaugh family had a reunion of sorts on Friday night. Jim and John celebrated sister Joanie's birthday at John's house. Several members of the Harbaugh family also watched the brother's press conferences from a nearby balcony overlooking the media press conference area.

Practice Plans

The joint practices will be very similar to how the 49ers normally practice back home. All three sessions will be padded as of now. The individual periods will be a coach's choice, so not every position group will work in with the other's teams group. After that, all competitive drills - 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s, and 11-on-11s - will feature the 49ers facing the Ravens.

Both Harbaugh brothers discussed the plans for the practices well in advance.

"We feel like it's in the best interest of both teams," Jim said. "We want to take care of the Ravens. We want to be safe out here and we need them to do the same for us. That's the kind of environment where iron sharpens iron. That's what we're looking for. We're looking for good practice work. These aren't games out here. These are practices. These are drills and we expect really good practice."

John agreed.

"We have a really good football team here to go against some different schemes we don't usually see," the Ravens coach said. "That's a big plus for us. We really ready to go to work."

Jacobs Tears ACL

Jim said the 49ers signed Lance Lewis to add depth to the wide receiver group. Chuck Jacobs suffered a torn ACL in Thursday night's preseason opener was waived/injured to make room for Lewis on the roster. Lewis will wear No. 18 with the 49ers.

Jim also said it was Jacobs' first major injury. "He could run all day," the 49ers coach said. "He's like the unbreakable man. He got into a tough situation on the boundary the other night on kick-off return and unfortunately tore an ACL. It'll all be healing from this point and I anticipate fully that he'll be with us this season and going forward."

D-Line Update

San Francisco's defensive line had two minor injuries in the loss to the Ravens. Defensive tackles Demarcus Dobbs and Lawrence Okoye suffered leg injuries and were unable to finish the game. Harbaugh expects the 49ers to be thin at D-line throughout the weekend. However, the 49ers are expected to get "some reinforcements" next week at the position. Will Tukuafu, a former defensive lineman-turned-fullback, played defensive snaps in the preseason opener. He'll be an option for San Francisco's thin defensive line group this weekend.

Backup Tight End

Vance McDonald caught Colin Kaepernick's only completion, a 17-yard reception against the Ravens. But it was more than that play that impressed the 49ers coaches. McDonald lined up in the backfield as a fullback and had a solid night as an in-line blocker at his normal tight end position.

"It was (A) plus-plus for Vance," Jim said. "Really good night for him."

Crab and Lloyd Return?

Veteran receivers Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd will not practice on Saturday. Both wideouts missed the preseason opener.

Thoughts on Kilgore, Looney and Martin

"They did good," Jim said when asked about the specific play of center Daniel Kilgore, right guard Joe Looney and right tackle Jonathan Martin.

Jim also praised the second-team offensive line, a group that played mostly three quarters on Thursday. As for Martin in particular, Jim said he was "effective" against the Ravens, but he did have a false-start penalty. Looney, according to Jim, played too tall at times.

Jim said both linemen had "fixable" mistakes against the Ravens.

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