Ravens' Wednesday camp notes

WESTMINSTER -- Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden is expected to report to training camp Thursday after missing the past few weeks of practice following his father's death, according to team officials.

Ogden informed the team Monday that he would be in Westminster on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Ravens coach Brian Billick dismissed a speculative radio report that the grieving nine-time All-Pro was contemplating retirement following the recent death of his father.

"Certainly, it's got to be mentally right and emotionally right for him," Billick said. "But I've had no conversation with anybody, Jonathan included, that has intimated that at all."

The funeral for Shirrel Ogden was held last Friday after he passed away two days before training camp began following a long bout with kidney disease. Teammates have said the 6-foot-9, 345-pounder is taking this personal loss extremely hard.

Roughly 20 Ravens attended the funeral, including most of the offensive line, along with Billick, general manager Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass. Billick spoke at the services on behalf of the team.

It's likely that Ogden will need several days to get himself into football shape.

OPENING EYES: Rookie tight end Quinn Sypniewski proved something else to the coaching staff Wednesday morning: The rugged blocking tight end can take a hit.

Sypniewski absorbed a crushing shot from safety Gerome Sapp over the middle and was slow to get up, but was unhurt.

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound sixth-round draft pick from Colorado has impressed Billick with his penchant for not dwelling on a dropped pass by responding with several acrobatic catches.

"Just about the time that I'm about to stick my size 12s up his private parts, he goes and makes three or four phenomenal catches," Billick said. "He's a sharp kid and he has the maturity to fight through it. When you have some drops, it's all mental. He knows that and he's working through it."

For Sypniewski, it's a matter of focusing solely on one goal: making the football team.

"I get that mistake out of my head," he said. "It's nice to hear that the coaches are pleased because they brought me in here to be a point of attack guy first and foremost. Anything I can do to help the passing game is a bonus."

To help increase his value, Sypniewski has even been practicing his long-snapping and is listed third on the depth chart.
"[Special teams coach] Frank Gansz said if they need me to do anything in a pinch he would be more than comfortable," Sypniewski said. "The more things you can, the better chance you have of making the team. I hope to put my best foot forward and see how it goes from there."

NGATA LIKELY OUT: Billick declared rookie defensive tackle Haloti Ngata as doubtful for the team's preseason opener Friday night against the New York Giants at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ngata sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the Ravens' scrimmage against the Washington Redskins on Saturday and hasn't practiced since. Drafted 12th overall out of Oregon, Ngata said he hopes to practice on a limited basis by Thursday and forecast that he would be back fully by Sunday or Monday.

"I would say he's doubtful," Billick said. "He didn't do anything this morning. He's still dealing with the soreness sometimes that just has to work itself out. I would say he's unlikely."

TRAINING ROOM: Reserve offensive guard Brian Rimpf said he doesn't know if he has torn his hamstring or not, but agreed with Billick's assessment that it's a severe injury.

"Whether it's torn or not, they're still looking at it," Billick said.

Rimpf said he's going to get more further exams on his left leg to determine the severity of the injury.

"I definitely pulled it badly at the least," Rimpf said.

Safety B.J. Ward remains out with migraines, but Billick said it's not concussion-related.

"Obviously anytime you deal with that, you've got to take it through the full range of tests and I'm not sure they're done doing that yet," Billick said.

Ward was wearing sunglasses at dinner because his eyes are sensitive to sunlight.

Wide receiver Clarence Moore (sports hernia), tight end Rob Abiamiri (strained hamstring) and cornerback David Pittman (strained hamstring) also didn't practice.

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had an ice pack taped to his right shoulder after practice, but didn't appear to be in any discomfort.

HIGH-TECH: The Ravens will unveil a new light-emitting diode (LED) display system  to animate the entire club level Friday night with full-motion video special effects and graphics. Senior vice president of business ventures Dennis Mannion will present the game-day technology Thursday at the stadium.

QUICK HITS: Commenting on the team's veteran leadership, Billick said: "Outsanding. It's subtle to a degree, but as good as I've been around in terms of how they interact with each other. It's not, 'I'm this and you're that.' It's very subtle and it provides a great chemistry that way." ... Billick said that the starters will play for the first quarter with the second team seeing action in the second and third quarter with other reserves concluding the fourth quarter. ... The Ravens have begun nominating candidates for their annual "King Ugly" competition.

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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