Sports Outside the Beltway

Baltimore Ravens Brawl

This gives offense vs. defense a whole new meaning.

Uppercuts, haymakers, headlocks, head-slaps, cursing and consequences defined the temperamental Baltimore Ravens’ minicamp practice. It wasn’t a Vince McMahon creation. It was a case of warring factions: offense versus defense.

A series of melees Wednesday eventually completely eroded Ravens coach Brian Billick’s tolerance for the unscripted, extracurricular activity, so he halted practice early. Billick ordered the entire football team to run ‘gassers,’ a demanding regimen of sideline-to-sideline sprints rarely seen in the NFL.

“Since you don’t want to practice and you don’t want to think, you’re going to run until I get [expletive] tired of seeing you run,” Billick bellowed. “Get your [butts] on the sideline!”

As promised, Billick kept blowing his whistle as the players ran at least eight sprints. Several hefty linemen were left bent over and gasping for air.

“If you can fight, you can run,” receiver Derrick Mason told his teammates while out in front of the pack of runners. “You’ve got to watch each other’s back.”

Words fail. Couldn’t happen to a better team.

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