Ravens' Tuesday morning update

WESTMINSTER -- The sweltering temperatures quickly reached a boiling point, and it wasn't too long before the extreme heat and the contact of training camp caused tempers to scald. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and fullback Justin Green engaged in the first fight of training camp, grappling in a brief skirmish during full-team drills.

After exchanging punches with Green, Suggs engaged in a bit of impromptu karate. His kick to Green's midsection was only a glancing blow, though, as teammates separated the two combatants.

Unlike minicamp when three fights prompted Ravens coach Brian Billick to make the players run sprints, this time cooler heads prevailed and there were no other melees.

"We got it shut down this time," linebacker Bart Scott said. "We learned from minicamp. We didn't want to have to run like that again."

During this fight, Billick shouted, "Don't make me come over there!"

Billick didn't have to, though, as the players pulled Suggs and Green apart.

"The focus starts to wane a little bit and you saw a little bit of it today," Billick said. "Plus, we've been in camp long enough. They took care of it. They rebounded quickly and that's what you want."

Meanwhile, the heat index is expected to soar above 110 degrees today and Wednesday with officials issuing a heat advisory.

The potentially dangerous conditions have prompted Billick to move practice up a half-hour and begin workouts at 8:15 a.m.

Working in the heat represents a double-edged sword because it allows football teams to acclimate their bodies to grueling conditions, but it can also induce dehydration or even heat stroke.

"You love the hot weather because it's a good way to condition and also there is a component of you're hot, you're tired and there's the distraction, the discipline, the fighting through the heat," Billick said. "There then becomes a point where you're just not being smart.

"By starting practice earlier, I think we have avoided it. The heat is not excessive right now and we'll adjust, but you have to judge it because you can't be silly about it."

Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and his younger brother, Marques, a former Raven, attended practice for the first time since their father, Shirrel Ogden, died days before training camp began. Ogden didn't participate in practice and hasn't officially reported to camp.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday afternoon and several players and team officials are expected to attend. It's unclear when Ogden will begin playing, although teammates said they thought he might return by next week.

"Obviously we're going to help Jonathan all we can to deal with this difficult time," Billick said. "It's good to have him out here."

Meanwhile, wide receiver Mark Clayton didn't practice after once again tweaking his left hamstring, a near chronic condition for the second-year pro.

"It's precautionary," Billick said. "We just thought it would be better for him to lay low just to make sure that hamstring is doing okay."

Wide receiver Clarence Moore (hernia) remains on the physically unable to perform list. Also held out of practice: running back Cory Ross (hamstring) and tight end Bobby Blizzard (back).

Running back Jamal Lewis practiced without incident one day after being activated after missing five practices with a strained left hip flexor.

Rookie wide receiver Demetrius Williams stood out again, catching at least six passes during full-team drills.

"He continues to grow," Billick said. "He's picking up things fairly readily, so I'm impressed with that."

The most remarkable play was how safety B.J. Ward timed the snap count perfectly and hit running back P. J. Daniels on a blitz as soon as he got the handoff, separating him from the football. Speedy offensive guard Chris Chester, who runs the 40 yard dash in 4.78 seconds, dashed upfield to get just past the line of scrimmage before being tackled.
 

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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