Baltimore Ravens' notes and quotes

Notes and quotes from Scout.com

 Jamal Lewis reported to training camp after an offseason that included four months in prison and two months in a halfway house. He pleaded guilty in October to using a cell phone to try to set up a cocaine deal in 2000.

The running back was limited in his first week of practice and did not play in the preseason opener. He could see time in the second game.
Upon his return, he said he had fresh legs and a fresh start.

"It's been hanging over my head for the last five seasons," said Lewis. "It's just a great weight off my back so I can move forward. If I could accomplish what I did over the last five years under the circumstances, hopefully there are better years to come.

"It's like starting brand new right now."

--Peter Boulware is expected to work out for the Ravens this week.

The Ravens are looking to add depth at strong-side linebacker, where starter Adalius Thomas (hyperextended knee) is day to day and backup Dan Cody (severe knee sprain) is likely done for the season. Jarret Johnson, a backup defensive end, started at outside linebacker in the preseason opener.

Boulware, a four-time Pro Bowl player, would be a solid fit because he could rotate with Thomas at outside linebacker in the team's regular defense and play rush end opposite Terrell Suggs in passing situations.

--Todd Heap is recovering slowly and might not play until the third or final preseason game. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end has yet to practice in the first two weeks of training camp after undergoing offseason surgeries on his ankle and shoulder.

He said his ankle has held up strong recently while running routes. Now comes a test for the shoulder, which could include some contact drills with pads on.
"I was thinking next week would get a good step for me to take after getting everything solidified this week and getting my ankle where it needs to be," Heap said. "Now, it's just a matter of getting my shoulder right."

--A tough situation led to the Ravens calling on one of their toughest players.

Jarret Johnson, a no-frills backup lineman, started at strong-side linebacker in the preseason opener after injuries sidelined Adalius Thomas (hyperextended knee) and Dan Cody (sprained knee).

"Knowing Jarret, he will use it as a motivating factor," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "He's going to give everything he's got to get the job done."
Asked who instilled that never-say-quit attitude, the gravely-voiced, scruffy-faced Johnson said it was his mother.

When Johnson was 7, his mother had to begin raising him and his older sister by herself. His father, a commercial fisherman in Florida, was lost at sea when his boat sank.

The tragedy led his mother to attend nursing school and then drive 160 miles round trip to the hospital, where she worked 12-hour shifts.

"I've never seen anybody work like she'd work," Johnson said. "I've always thought, 'It doesn't matter how hard I work, I'll never work as hard as the person I grew up around.'"

Johnson's relentlessness has made the 2003 fourth-round pick one of the Ravens' most reliable role players. Admittedly not as "blessed" as his teammates, he doesn't have ideal size (6-feet-3, 285 pounds) or speed.

But when he gets blocked, he turns around and makes another play. When he gets knocked down, he quickly jumps back up.

This non-stop effort is why the Ravens don't forget about him. After Thomas and Cody went down with knee injuries, the Ravens decided to find a way to put their best 11 players on the field. And Johnson was one of them.

"He's a throwback player and it's not just the way he looks," Ryan said. "He's going to outwork you. Eventually, you're going to be like, 'If I let up once, Jarret is going to make me pay for it.'"

Johnson's time at linebacker likely will extend beyond this week.

Thomas, who hyperextended his right knee Aug. 9, has been ruled out for Saturday but is considered day to day. Cody, who severely sprained his right knee on the first day of camp, has yet to be re-evaluated, although he is expected to miss the entire season.

Even with this injury situation, the Ravens will still use Johnson at defensive end, interchangeably rotating Terrell Suggs back to linebacker.

For Johnson, the difficult part of the transition to linebacker is defending the pass. Although his most memorable moment as a Raven came against the pass -- he intercepted a throw that he deflected in last year's season finale and ran it back 6 yards for a touchdown -- he has only had to go forward as a lineman.

"I'm a confident guy so I feel like I can play anywhere -- even though I can't," Johnson said. "If you took a big linebacker and stuck him out at safety, it would the same adjustment. I have no clue (about this position) because I never dropped back. It's all learning. Today is the most comfortable I've felt since I've been doing it."

Off the field, Johnson is comfortable at living up to the stereotypes of the south.

He enjoys fishing and hunting. He likes country music. He even drives a red pickup truck.

"I'm not trying to hide who I am," Johnson said.

Where Johnson tends to hide is on the field. The other day, a coach looked Johnson up and down and joked, "They never see you coming." Johnson never shies away from the label of being an overachiever. In fact, he seems to embrace it.

"I never take anything for granted," Johnson said. "Every time I look up and see Ray Lewis calling the play and see Kelly Gregg standing next to me in the huddle, sometimes I turn around and think, 'This is pretty cool.' "

CAMP CALENDAR: The Ravens break camp Aug. 19, a day before their second preseason game.

NOTES, QUOTES
--The Ravens' starting defense essentially shut down Atlanta in one quarter of work, surrendering just 49 yards and three first downs. Showing a mixture defenses, from the 4-3 to the 46, the Ravens held the Falcons to 3 yards or fewer on seven of 13 plays and sacked Vick as many times as completions allowed (two).

It was even more impressive considering NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ed Reed (knee) and linebacker Adalius Thomas both sat out the game.
"I think we established what we wanted to establish," middle linebacker Ray Lewis said.

-- Many have come and gone in the search for a kickoff specialist, so now the Ravens have gone across seas to find someone to hold the job.
Rookie free agent Rhys Lloyd, originally from Dover, England, has been sending kicks inside the 5-yard line with regularity. The Ravens would prefer to have a kickoff specialist so Matt Stover can concentrate solely on field goals.

"I'm excited to be here, just to have the opportunity to become part of a professional organization," Lloyd said. "I'm learning off Matt. I'm going to try and do my best, and hopefully that will be good enough.

"I just need to show a good leg and consistency, putting it inside the 5 every time."

--Fullback Ovie Mughelli is not at all worried about job security in the backup spot behind starter Alan Ricard. "There's competition for this position every year, so I'm really not worried about it," Mughelli said.

This year, his competition comes from rookie Justin Green, the Ravens' fifth-round pick. Mughelli would not comment on how Green's ability compared to his own, saying only, "I hope the coaches see that I'm able to be a starting fullback on this team."

-- For the first time under Billick, the Ravens have scrapped two-a-day practices midway through training camp.

--The biggest obstacles that third-string quarterback Derek Anderson has to overcome are his own feet, according to quarterback coach Rick Neuheisel.
Anderson, the No. 3 quarterback, fell in a scrimmage against the Washington Redskins due in part to faulty footwork.

"I know it was not the way he anticipated starting his NFL career," Neuheisel said. "He's just got to become comfortable and trust his feet. We're working on that."

--The Ravens cut receiver Derek Abney, a former seventh-round pick who spent all of last season on injured reserved (shoulder).

--After four injury-filled years with the University of Maryland -- which included two torn anterior cruciate ligaments -- Chris Kelley is working hard to make an impression at strong safety. Kelley said all of the injuries that have plagued him are gone.

"I'm sore, but it's just training camp sore," Kelley said.

--Special teams coach Gary Zauner did not attend the preseason opener because of a staph infection in his leg. Assistant Bennie Thompson took over for him for that game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There are other tackles on his level, but none as good. Very seldom does he take a wrong step. Very seldom is he out of position." -- Pro Bowl pass rusher Terrell Suggs on teammate and All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Clarence Moore vs. Mark Clayton for starting WR -- Moore struggled in the preseason opener, dropping two passes including one in the end zone. Clayton is currently the team's No. 3 receiver but could push Moore with a strong preseason.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Deion Sanders vs. Dale Carter for nickel back job (Sanders has strengthened his role as the primary nickel back. Carter is expected to miss at least another week with a leg injury. Orlando Brown vs. Adam Terry for starting RT (The job is Brown's if he can stay healthy. But Terry has begun to play more and more at right tackle in practice). Darnell Dinkins vs. Daniel Wilcox for backup TE (Dinkins is a more physical presence and better run blocker. Wilcox provides the opposite and is more of a receiving threat).

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: RB Chester Taylor -- In the preseason opener, Taylor was the driving force of the Ravens' offense. In filling in for Jamal Lewis, Taylor accounted for 55 of the 118 yards produced by the starting offense. Six of Taylor's eight carries went for 6 yards or longer.

ROOKIE REPORT: WR Mark Clayton (first round) is the No. 3 receiver and caught one pass for six yards in the preseason opener; LB Dan Cody (second round) could miss the season after severely spraining his knee in the first practice; OT Adam Terry (second round) has split his time as the primary backup at both left and right tackle; QB Derek Anderson (sixth round) had a rough debut with a fumble and an interception.

INJURY REPORT:
--LB Dan Cody (sprained knee) could miss the entire season. He will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks.
--TE Todd Heap (shoulder and ankle) is on the physically unable to perform list but could have contact drills this week. He might not play until the third or final preseason game.
--RB Musa Smith (leg) is on PUP and will be evaluated on a week to week basis. There is a chance he could miss the first five games of the regular season.
--CB Dale Carter (leg) will likely miss at least another week.
--PR-KR B.J. Sams (hamstring) did not play in the preseason opener. In Sams' absence, Patrick Johnson returned kickoffs and Mark Clayton ran back punts.
--LB Adalius Thomas (hyperextended knee) did not play in the preseason opener and is considered day to day.
--FS Ed Reed (knee) suffered a minor injury at the end of the second week of training camp and sat out the preseason opener as a precaution.
--FB Alan Ricard (calf) did not play in the preseason opener and is considered day to day.


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