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Baltimore Ravens allowed to move portion of practice

NEW ORLEANS -- Publicly, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been complimentary of practice facilities at Tulane University this week despite the fact that the team has practiced outdoors on a converted baseball field in windy conditions.

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Privately, some of the Ravens' players weren't pleased with the field conditions. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that the players felt the Tulane field was hard in spots. The NFL tested the field for hardness and the results fell within the acceptable range for league-approved fields, but the team still requested a change. The Ravens will do a walkthrough at Tulane on Thursday, but they will practice outdoors on grass at the New Orleans Saints' practice facility in the afternoon.

The news was first reported by NFL Network's Kimberly Jones.

"The Ravens expressed a desire to spend a portion of practice today working on a grass field, which is present at the Saints' facility but not at Tulane," NFL vice president of communications Michael Signora told Rapoport. "We were able to accommodate that request and so the team will conduct their walkthrough at Tulane and then the remainder of their practice at the Saints' complex."

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was among the players who weren't happy with the Tulane field.

"It's a baseball field, it's really tight, and when you stop and start, you feel it," Lewis told The Associated Press. "It's especially tough for the older guys. I know the other players, on that hard surface, they feel it.

"I don't think (the NFL) thought it would be a problem. The last thing you want is anything that makes your players ache. You want to do the opposite."

The Saints' complex is in Metarie, La. Yes, that's the same practice facility the San Francisco 49ers are using. This is not the first time two teams have used the same practice facility before a Super Bowl. Both the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots worked at the Houston Texans' facility in the week leading up to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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