subscribers. Remember that a years subscription to this site gets you 52 weeks of The Sporting News magazine."> subscribers. Remember that a years subscription to this site gets you 52 weeks of The Sporting News magazine.">

AFCN Hot News Digest - Ravens, Browns.

Another smattering of Hot News, the stuff we gather from around the web and slap at the top of every page on this site. There's not a lot happening in the NFL world this week but what we do find we provide for our <A HREF=""> subscribers.</A> Remember that a years subscription to this site gets you 52 weeks of The Sporting News magazine.

Chad Williams Dime back will have competition for role

Chad Williams only played with James Trapp for a year, but he still took a valuable lesson from the former Ravens defensive back. "I learned from James last year that third down is the biggest down," Williams said. "You want to get off the field. You cherish third down like it's the last play of the game. You have to do all you can to get off the field." Before he can continue to play on third down though, the second year safety will need to starve off competition for his role as the Ravens dime back in a 6-back defensive set. The Ravens have added three defensive backs since the season ended, including Corey Fuller, who will likely start at free safety. The two players who split time at that position last season, Anthony Mitchell and Will Demps are both back and will be looking for playing time as well. There's also veteran Tom Knight, who missed all of 2002 with an injury, and there's even talk of second year linebacker Bart Scott battling for the dime back role. Still, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is aware of how well Williams played in that role last year, including game turning plays in each of the last 3 Ravens wins. "[The dime] is his way to be on the team as well as special teams. Nolan said "Those two things are keeping him here and helping us win games, and if he evolves into a full-time safety. ... You have to find a way to make the squad when you are in his position, and he's got a niche. Somebody is going to have to work pretty hard to beat him out of that spot."

Tommy Knight Lower expectations, more maturity

With Baltimore's Corey Fuller shifting from cornerback to free safety and Chris McAlister excused from passing camp, Tom Knight wound up at cornerback with the starting group. Knight, who was considered a first-round bust in Arizona, will likely be a backup but should see time in the Ravens' nickel package this season. "There is a part early in your career where you become frustrated trying to live up to expectations," Knight said. "At some point, you mature and realize the only expectations that matter are the ones that I place on myself. Have I been disappointed in my own performance? Sure, I have. But at the same time, I can only control what I can control, and my biggest thing right now is to get better and improve my situation."

Kyle Boller Digesting the playbook in a hurry

Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller, the 19th player taken in the draft, took the second-most snaps behind starter Chris Redman in this week's passing camp. The increased repetitions for Boller took playing time away from Anthony Wright, the team's third quarterback who had looked strong in the first minicamp. "[Boller] needs a lot of work on some of these routes and we have to get him ready,'' offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said. "Anthony had heck of a start, but we can only give so many guys the reps." To his credit, Boller has not been overwhelmed by the system. He is learning 10 routes every practice and the goal is for Boller to have the entire playbook down by the conclusion of veterans camp, which ends in mid-June.

Terrell Suggs Back on the practice field

Terrell Suggs was back in action Thursday, as the Ravens completed the third day of a four day passing camp this week. Suggs, the Ravens first pick in this year's draft (10th overall) was unable to practice due to NFL rules. Under NFL regulations, a rookie can't have face to face meetings with his team (outside of minicamps) until classes at his school (in Suggs' case, Arizona State) are done for the Spring semester. As he has from the first practice at minicamp, The 6'3 260 pound outside linebacker worked out with the first unit on Thursday.

Frank Gatski Yearly Memorial Day participant

Frank "Gunner" Gatski has travelled from the West Virginia mountains, to Europe as a soldier, then to Cleveland as a center for numerous championship teams, and wound up with a plaque and his statue in the Hall of Fame. Now that Gatski has returned to West Virginia, he is a yearly attendee of the West Virginia National Cemetary 's annual Memorial Day celebration. "I enjoy coming here", Gatski told the Clarksburg Exponent, "and I always enjoy the presentation". Gatski has five relatives buried at the WV National Cemetary, including his brother.

Chad Mustard Grabs a two-point conversion

Mustard didn't start and didn't catch a pass during most of the Rhein Fire's game against the Berlin Thunder. Mustard did, however, pull down a pass for a two-point conversion on special teams. This represents Mustard's first score of the year, and the only scoring by allocated Browns players to date in NFL Europe.

Jay Taylor A solid game for NFLE punter

Jay Taylor who, statistically at least, doesn't appear ready to mount a serious challenge to Chris Gardocki had better results during yesterday's game against the Berlin Thunder. Taylor punted five times, with a long of 55, an average of 43.4 and one inside the 20.

Ravens Insider Top Stories