Tempers flare at Ravens' training camp

WESTMINSTER -- It didn't take long to reach the boiling point on the thermometer, and blazing heat along with the contact of training camp caused tempers to scald. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and fullback Justin Green scrapped Tuesday morning in Westminster in what marked the first fight of the Baltimore Ravens' training camp.

It wasn't clear exactly what triggered the brief skirmish during full-contact team drills.

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

Unlike the team's final 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," Billick said. "Plus, we've been in camp long enough. They took care of it. They rebounded quickly and that's what you want."

CRITICAL OF BRONCOS: Trevor Pryce definitely doesn't miss the Denver Broncos, who cut the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end after last season because of salary-cap reasons. Pryce often clashed with Broncos coach Mike Shanahan toward the end of his nine-year tenure in Denver.

"I came from something that could get pretty hairy at times," said Pryce, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract with Baltimore in March. "I had to make all the plays. If I didn't, I was wrong, that type of thing. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm happy to be playing football.

"The way the coaches and everybody is the same here it's not an 'us versus them' mentality between the players and the coaches where you do something wrong and you know there's going to be hell to pay. The coaches, I think, want to help you and they feel part of it, too. They might feel pressure for their jobs like we do, so it's a little bit different."

Pryce remains bitter about how he was utilized in his final season in Denver when he often dropped back into coverage on third downs instead of rushing the passer. He was limited to four sacks after recording 59 during his first eight seasons in Denver.

"I'm actually going to be put in a position to try to make a play instead of the blocking dummies of a defensive line that we became last year in Denver," Pryce said. "Somebody said I had 10 tackles for losses and 50-some pressures. It doesn't matter. I was released anyway."

OGDEN VISITS CAMP: 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 camp began.

Ogden didn't participate in practice as he hasn't officially reported to camp yet while he deals with his loss. 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."

TRAINING ROOM: Wide receiver Mark Clayton didn't practice after once again tweaking his left hamstring, a chronic condition for the talented 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 OK."

Devard Darling worked with the first offense in Clayton's place.

When training camp began, Clayton said he believed the hamstring problem was behind him.

"It was my lower back that was the problem," Clayton said. "They figured out that my back was tight and affecting my leg muscles when I ran. Everything is aligned now."

Wide receiver Clarence Moore (hernia) remains on the physically unable to perform list. Running back Cory Ross (hamstring) and tight end Bobby Blizzard (back) didn't practice. Rookie cornerback David Pittman remains limited in some drills with a strained hamstring.

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

QUICK HITS: 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." … Pryce had the line of the day when asked to compare the AFC North to the AFC West. "This is a tough, tough division," he said. "If I had my wish, I would have put Baltimore in the NFC West. Let's transfer and get out of this." … With Pittman limited, Corey Ivy and Ronnie Prude operated as the nickel and dime backs.

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

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