Billick lags behind linemen in sprints

OWINGS MILLS – Gasping for air and bent over at the waist, the Baltimore Ravens' linemen were exhausted after running eight wind sprints in stifling heat.

Ravens coach Brian Billick ran with the linemen after practice as the heat index neared 100 degrees, but couldn't complete the exercise. Billick finished a distant last each time, trailing behind 360-pound nose guard Maake Kemoeatu before sitting out the last few.

"They shamed me into it," Billick said. "They're in pretty good shape, but they're not there yet. They don't have to be in the second week in June. It's a benchmark for them."

Impressed and amused that Billick joined them for the workout, players offered mixed reviews on his conditioning level.

"Brian, this message is for you: Start working out, stop playing racquetball," linebacker Adalius Thomas said. "I'll see you at 8:30 in the morning."

Kemoeatu said he was relieved to finish ahead of the head coach, who was gaining on him during his final sprint.

Noting that Billick didn't finish his work a la heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, Thomas added: "Well, I don't think he made it to the seventh round, so Tyson got him by a mile. But hopefully he will run again unlike Tyson."

QUICK HITS: Besides running back Jamal Lewis (halfway house) and Suggs, nickel back Deion Sanders and kicker Matt Stover were excused for personal reasons. Billick said he expects Sanders to return today. … Defensive end Tony Weaver (leg) is likely to miss the entire week of practice, Billick said. Weaver said the injury isn't serious "Weaver has got some things going on that we might just cool him for the rest of the week," Billick said.… Wide receiver Mark Clayton (hamstring) is improving, but was limited in drills along with fullback Alan Ricard (knee) and running back Musa Smith (leg). Smith took a handoff in a half-speed drill and ran upfield with only a slight limp. … Tight end Todd Heap (ankle, shoulder) and offensive guard Edwin Mulitalo (triceps) didn't practice. … … Cal Ripken attended practice as a guest of owner Steve Bisciotti.

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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