We here at the Beatdown have been very excited about the start of the year, with our coverage practically exclusive to Thursday night's festivities. But the honeymoon period is over, and it's time to look ahead to the next circled date on the Ravens calender.
Next week, the team travels to Philadelphia, home of the Eagles, cheesesteak, and originally, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air's stomping grounds.
Baltimore's agenda for next week consists of two early-morning practices on Monday and Tuesday, with the trek to Philly after Tuesday's practice. The two teams will scrimmage and practice together for the next three days in the leadup to their Saturday night showdown, which will be broadcast nationally via NFL Network. It's certainly a busy week for the Ravens.
But are the two teams "chilling' out, maxing', relaxing' all cool", or will they "start makin' trouble in neighborhood"?
I say this because when two competive teams get together, the results can be troublesome. Just last week, the finale of the Texans-Redskins joint practices was a massive brawl. Tensions between the two squads had esacalated all week, finally climaxing when a 'Skins player made a questionable hit on a Texans player. It wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that something like this could happen to the Ravens and Eagles, especially considering some of the fiesty personalities on each squad.
However, it's more likely that these scrimmages will prove fruitful. The last joint squad sessions the Ravens had were very productive, when the team went out to the West Coast to work with the then Jim Harbaugh-coached 49ers.
The Ravens-Eagles are a very good matchup, as they play to each others' strengths. The Ravens top defense will get a nice challenge against one of the most prolific NFL offenses, and vice-versa, as the Philly unit will be able to scrimmage against the Ravens D.
The team may want to look out for Chip Kelly's 'custom smoothies' though.