Baltimore Ravens to Hold Joint Training Camp Practices with Philadelphia Eagles

The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they will hold a joint training camp practice with the Philadelphia Eagles in preparation of their Week 2 preseason matchup on Saturday, Aug. 22 at Lincoln Financial Field. The two teams will practice against each other at the Novacare Complex for three days leading up to the contest. The two teams do not play in the regular season and the added convenience of Philadelphia only being a short ride away was likely a factor in the decision.

“Coach Kelly and I are working on the practice schedules right now, so we’re excited about that,” John Harbaugh said.

The Ravens hosted the San Francisco 49ers last year, when John invited his brother and then-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, to Baltimore. They also had scrimmages in 2000 and 2005 through 2007 with the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles have been a part of joint practices with the New England Patriots the last two seasons, but the two teams face off in Week 13 of the regular season and will not face off in the preseason.

Harbaugh has a history with the Eagles as a long-time assistant coach in Philadelphia. Harbaugh was a special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach from 1998 to 2007 under former coach Andy Reid. John has never worked with Chip Kelly before, but brother Jim knows the former Oregon coach from their days competing against one another in the Pac-12.

“Jim has always spoken really highly of him and I obviously have great respect for him,” Harbaugh said. “We were just talking at the owner’s meetings and were kind of wondering why we don’t play each other more in the preseason, and wanted to see if we could work something out, and it looks like we’re going to be able to do that.”

Anthony DiBona of Inside the Iggles, the home of Eagles coverage on the FanSided Network, brought up an interesting point to look for when the two teams square off that summer night. The Ravens went offensive in this year’s draft, while the Eagles focused primarily on their defense. Both teams placed an emphasis on drafting bigger players at respective positions, and it will fascinating to watch the matchups between the Ravens wide receivers and tight ends against the Eagles corners and safeties. 

The up-tempo style that Kelly likes to run on offense will be a test for the Ravens. Baltimore struggled in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Patriots when they went into their up-tempo offense. The Ravens know that if they want to get to the promise land, they will likely have to knock off the defending champions to do so. They can use these practices to fine tune some things for a potential matchup down the road.

The main reason for these joint practices is to get players hitting against opponents after weeks of battling it out against teammates. It is not uncommon for fights to break out during the hot practices in August. You never want to see those fights, but at the same time, you would rather see guys going against enemies rather than teammates.

The Eagles and Ravens have previously played in six preseason games, splitting the series. They were scheduled to play a game in 2001, but the game was called off due to the field conditions at old Veterans Stadium. The two teams were repeat preseason adversaries from 2004 to 2007, but have played just once since.