Baltimore Ravens' notes and quotes

The receiver who has earned the most attention during the Ravens' offseason minicamps has been Randy Hymes. Fighting for the No. 3 receiver spot against Clarence Moore and Devard Darling, Hymes has raised his game as well as a few eyebrows.

Hymes, who is entering his fourth season, has made sensational one-handed catches while wearing tights, jawing with defenders and breaking out a series of end zone celebrations -- all of which have been staples of flamboyant Eagles receiver Terrell Owens.

But Hymes brushed away any of those comparisons to the receiver who successfully fought his trade to Baltimore last year.

"I don't want to be like T.O.," Hymes said. "I'm far different from him. He's in a whole other category. I'm just representing myself."

Hymes can certainly be classified as colorful these days. He has sported either black, purple or white tights during earlier sessions, a look similar to what Owens has practiced in.

And during his frequent trips into the end zone, Hymes has spiked the ball with a defiant pose or dunked it over the goalpost.

"Playing receiver in the NFL is a lot like playing corner; you have to play it with an attitude," receivers coach David Shaw said. "You have to play with supreme confidence.

"He was an undrafted kid who played quarterback in college (Grambling) that plays with a chip on his shoulder because he didn't get a lot of notoriety."

Now Hymes, like a certain other receiver who was overlooked coming from a small school, is looking to make his own fame, in part, through showmanship.

"He is the epitome of swagger in the receiving corps," Moore said. "That's what we look to him for. When he has a bad day, we all have a bad day because we wait for him to do something on the practice field. It's all in fun, and he's still leading by example. At the same time, he has a swagger that we all don't have. We may have it, but we don't show it like that."

Neither really did Hymes before these offseason workouts.

He says the change has more to do with his comfort level. Hymes started seven games last year, including the Dec. 26 showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he led the team with four catches for 55 yards.

"You do that when you get comfortable with the system," Hymes said. "Once you get comfortable with the system, coaches give you a little bit more leeway. They know I'm from the SWAC, and Jerry Rice is from the SWAC."

Hymes pointed out it was Rice, not Owens, who started the tights thing, and that is whom he models himself more after. The demonstrative acts are not Rice-like, but they might be here to stay for a while.

"That's me," Hymes said. "I've always been like that. (Former Grambling coach) Doug Williams used to get on me in college, saying `Man you dress differently from everybody. Dress like the team.' But I don't know how to do that. I know how to do it, but it's not me. It's just the swagger I have, pulling myself away from everybody else. It's going to make me play better."


--The Ravens likely will carry three safeties on their final roster: Demps, Ed Reed and Chad Williams. If injuries hit that position, nickel back Dale Carter could fill help fill that role. Although he has been a corner his entire NFL career, Carter was an all-American safety at Tennessee.

"Hey, I'll play it all," said Carter. "Right now, they're throwing a lot of stuff at me. I'm just trying to pick up everything I can during these minicamps, so when the real camp comes, I can help the team."

--Kicker Matt Stover, the Ravens' longtime player union representative, said he expects labor peace to continue in the league. The current CBA is set to expire in 2008.

"(Commissioner Paul) Tagliabue and (NFLPA Executive Director) Gene Upshaw do a great job, and I don't foresee any problem with us eventually signing a deal before the end of it," Stover said. "That's the blessing of it. We understand the foolish things that are going on in the other leagues, too. I don't think we're set up that way."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The passing game has struggled in the past, and you know what? That's the past. We have the future to look forward to. It's my job to rally those guys and get them going. Each one of these camps is an opportunity to get better offensively. I need to rally the guys. If I'm not a leader, then we've got a problem." -- Quarterback Kyle Boller on the annual low rankings of the Ravens' passing game.




UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: PK Wade Richey; LB T.J. Slaughter; QB Kordell Stewart.



PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: S Will Demps; TE Darnell Dinkins; WR Randy Hymes; TE Terry Jones; NT Ma'ake Kemoeatu; LS Joe Maese; OG Brian Rimpf; RB/KR B.J. Sams; CB Deion Sanders; LB Bart Scott; RB Chester Taylor; TE Daniel Wilcox; S Chad Williams; P Dave Zastudil; DT Matt Zielinski.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: WR Pat Johnson; WR Derrick Mason; LB Jim Nelson; LB Tommy Polley; CB Samari Rolle; OG Keydrick Vincent.

PLAYERS LOST: RG Bennie Anderson; CB Gary Baxter; LB Peter Boulware; OT Ethan Brooks; LB Cornell Brown; DE Marques Douglas; DB Corey Fuller; LB Ed Hartwell; WR Kevin Johnson; FB Harold Morrow; C Casey Rabach; WR Travis Taylor; CB Ray Walls; RB Jamel White.

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