Modell visits practice

Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell hasn't lost his trademark sense of humor, in spite of the heavy losses his football team has incurred and his own health problems. The resilient 77-year-old attended his first training camp practice of the summer at McDaniel College in Westminster on Tuesday after suffering a mild stroke last month. Modell said he still suffers from blurred vision and is set for a hospital visit at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Thursday for more tests.

Modell made light of his eyesight troubles on Thursday, saying, "Right now, that might be a blessing," after observing a sloppy workout.

Overall, Modell said he's been impressed by the rebuilding efforts of the front office and coaching staff. He said he's a patient man and wants to deliver a team with a strong future into the hands of minority owner Stephen Bisciotti, who will take control of operations and primary ownership in 2004.

"This team will get significantly better in the second half of the season, I guarantee it," Modell said. "When the young kids have a chance to develop, we will be a good football team and surprise a lot of people."

Modell said doctors believe that dead tissue from a 1983 heart attack caused the stroke by entering his brain.

"I'm frustrated and angry at what happened," Modell said. "It was worse when I didn't know why it was happening. I'm glad I'm alive."

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