Notebook: Sypniewski catching on

BALTIMORE -- Quinn Sypniewski took a step outside of his reputation as strictly a blocking tight end. During the Baltimore Ravens' 29-3 victory Monday night over the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium, Sypniewski flashed open in the end zone to corral a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve McNair.

McNair located Sypniewski wide open over the middle for the score to cap a 12-play, 93-yard drive.

"I came around on top of the linebacker and just kind of sat there," Sypniewski said. "Steve saw me and we just connected on it."

One year removed from catching two passes for 15 yards and no scores as a rookie while operating mostly as an extra blocker, the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder from Colorado contributed to the passing game for a change.

With tight end Daniel Wilcox sidelined with an injury, Sypniewski received more extensive work with the starters His two first-quarter catches equaled his rookie totals.

"It felt great," Sypniewski said. "Just coming into my second year, everything is slowing down. I'm getting more comfortable in there. It's just good to be able to hit somebody else besides our own guys."

INACTIVES: The Ravens held out nose guard Kelly Gregg (right thigh bruise, knee), Wilcox (left ankle sprain) along with offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (turf toe), linebacker Dan Cody (knee surgery) and linebacker Mike Smith (shoulder surgery), who remain on the physically unable to perform list.

Former University of Maryland standout Jared Gaither started in place of Ogden. Defensive tackle Justin Bannan started in place of Gregg. The Eagles didn't play quarterback Donovan McNabb, wide receiver Bill Sampy, safety Brian Dawkins, cornerbacks Dustin Fox and Lito Sheppard, linebacker Dedrick Roper, offensive guard Shawn Andrews, tight end L.J. Smith and defensive tackles Ian Scott and Montae Reagor.

STOVER TIME: Kicker Matt Stover connected on five field goals, including a pair of 50-yarders. It broke his preseason career-high.

"I hit the ball clean," Stover said. "I really have a lot of faith in Matt Katula and Sam Koch out there. We're just getting our timing together. That's what it's about, just getting comfortable with one another."

ROSTER MOVES: The Ravens cut free agent wide receiver Leo Bookman. Kicker Rhys Lloyd, who hasn't reported to training camp due to roster issues, remains on the team under an NFL Europe exemption.

QUICK HITS: The Ravens' first-string defense limited the Eagles to no points on two drives. "The purpose of the job was very simple," middle linebacker Ray Lewis said. "Go in, get a couple of three-and-outs and get up out of there. It's really just getting your groove back. I think we played very well." … … Rookie wide receiver Yamon Figurs dropped a pass. After a couple fair catches, he lost four yards on a punt return. … Reserve defensive back Ronnie Prude recovered a Kevin Kolb fumble, returning it three yards. … Running back Mike Anderson caught one pass for 2 yards, taking a shot on the catch. He didn't have a carry. … Musa Smith rushed for five yards on three carries.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

Ravens Insider Top Stories