Ravens' Specialists at a glance

Aaron Wilson continues his positional break down of the Baltimore Ravens by taking a look at Special Teams.<br><br>

KICKERS

3 Matt Stover
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 178 Age: 36
Year: 15
College: Louisiana Tech
Acquired: Free agent, 2001
Resume: Fourth-most accurate kicker of all-time, Stover was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and finished third in the league with 134 points. He converted 34of-39 field goal attempts, hitting all 37 extra points. Converted 82.3 percent of career attempts.
Outlook: Entrenched as designated scorer because he's reliable in pressure situations and accurate from within 40 yards. Sacrifices range for consistency.

9 Wade Richey
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 205 Age: 28
Year: 7
College: Louisiana State:
Acquired: Free agent, 2003
Resume: Former starting kicker for the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers finished second in the NFL with 14 touchbacks last season as kickoff specialist. Also set team record with a 56-yard field goal against the Cleveland Browns
Outlook: Fully healed from a knee injury that hampered him last fall, Richey could be primed for a top-flight season.

PUNTERS

15 Dave Zastudil
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210 Age: 25
Year: 3
College: Ohio University
Acquired: Fourth round, 2002
Resume: Despite breaking his nose and suffering a concussion in regular-season finale, Zastudil averaged a franchise-record 48.8 yards in wild-card playoff loss to Tennessee Titans. Averaged 41 yards last season with eight touchbacks and 21 downed inside the 20-yard line. 
Outlook: Brian Billick anticipates a breakthrough season for Zastudil.

18 Clinton Greathouse
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 221 Age: 24
College: Texas Tech
Acquired: Free agent, 2004
Resume: Finished with career average of 39.7 yards, placing 17 punts inside the 20-yard line. 
Outlook: New Mexico native won't beat out Dave Zastudil, but will try to garner other teams' attention in preseason games.

LONG SNAPPERS

43 Mike Solwold
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 244 Age: 26
Year: 3
College: Wisconsin
Acquired: Free agent, 2003
Resume: Former long snapper for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was elevated from practice squad for final three games.
Outlook: Valuable practice player who volunteers for extra work and has an outside chance of challenging Joe Maese.

59 Joe Maese
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 241 Age: 25
Year: 3
College: New Mexico
Acquired: Sixth round, 2001
Resume: Two-year starter has snapped without incident since a season-ending knee injury as a rookie. Has made significant strides in kick coverage.
Outlook: Has done little to hurt his status since the team took the unusual step of drafting him strictly to snap the football.

74 Don Muhlbach
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 262 Age: 22
Year: Rookie
College: Texas A&M
Acquired: Free agent, 2004
Resume: Didn't start until his senior year.
Outlook: Extremely unlikely to unseat Joe Maese.

RETURN SPECIALISTS

12 Derek Abney
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 180 Age: 23
Year: Rookie
College: Kentucky
Acquired: Seventh round, 2004
Resume: Owns five Division I-A kickoff return records along with 11 conference records and 14 school records. Returned eight kicks for touchdowns, six punts and two kickoffs, to tie NCAA mark held by Johnny Rodgers and Cliff Branch. All-conference pick had 5,856 career all-purpose yards, 197 catches and 18 touchdowns. 
Outlook: Elusive rookie was drafted specifically to challenge Lamont Brightful.

45 Lamont Brightful
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 160 Age: 25
Year: 3
College: Eastern Washington
Acquired: Sixth round, 2002
Resume: Righted himself midway through a rough season after briefly being replaced by Dedric Ward. Averaged 24.7 yards per kickoff return, with a 75-yard jaunt against the Miami Dolphins. Dipped down to 7.8 yards per punt return.
Outlook: Diminutive Baltimore native has a few things to prove to the coaching staff in order to retain his job. Namely, securing the football better and advancing further on punt returns.


Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


Ravens Insider Top Stories