Baltimore Ravens rumor mill

OWINGS MILLS -- The latest facts, observations and rumors emanating from the Baltimore Ravens' training complex at One Winning Drive.

OWINGS MILLS -- Veteran former NFL defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will remain with the Baltimore Ravens this year as a special assistant.

The former Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans and Baltimore/Philadelphia Stars (USFL) defensive boss was credited by Ravens coach Brian Billick last year for his ultra-meticulous nature in documenting opponents' tendencies.

I don't expect overweight former Ravens defensive tackle Sam Adams to return to Baltimore after recently being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals. I won't be surprised if he winds up with the Cleveland Browns, though. Phil Savage likes to sign former Baltimore players and he could help their 3-4 scheme as a run-stopper. By the way, Big Sam is one of the the moodiest football players I've ever met.

New starting outside linebacker Jarret Johnson has been getting prepared for the job, showing up at minicamp with a much leaner physique. He also got a much shorter haircut. The former Alabama defensive lineman obviously has big shoes to fill as departed All-Pro Adalius Thomas' replacement.

Return specialist B.J. Sams was moving very quickly for a guy coming off a fractured ankle that required surgery. I'm sure the presence of speedster Yamon Figurs is a major motivating factor for Sams, who expressed joy that he was off the hook in his DUI trial and out of jeopardy with the courts and, apparently, with law-and-order NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

I hear the Ravens' new South Beach white sand pit at One Winning Drive was the brainchild of safety Ed Reed, a University of Miami football alum. There's even a rumor going around that the installment was a contractual requirement Reed requested.

If you're undrafted rookie safeties Donnie Johnson (Penn State) and Bobby Blackshire (Tulsa), you've got to like your chances to make the roster. The Ravens only have three veteran safeties under contract: Reed, Dawan Landry and Gerome Sapp. Opportunity knocks.

Both have reputations for being hard hitters, and both have good size with Johnson (6-0, 209) and Blackshire (6-1, 196). Funny how Blackshire lost two inches and nine pounds from the Tulsa sports information department's official biography.

It's been extremely quiet on the Donnie Henderson front as far as the former Ravens secondary coach coming aboard as a consultant and word is that it's not going to happen. Sometimes, a visit is just a friendly visit.

I won't be surprised, though, if Henderson gets a crack at becoming the Ravens' next defensive coordinator if Rex Ryan becomes an NFL head coach after this season.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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