Edwin Mulitalo Q&A

<B>Player Spotlight</B><BR> <B>Name:</B> Edwin Mulitalo<BR> <B>Position:</B> Offensive guard<BR> <B>College:</B> Arizona<BR> <B>Measurables:</B> 6-foot-3, 340 pounds<BR> <B>Age:</B> 28<BR> <B>Hometown:</B> Daly City, Calif.<BR> <B>Acquired:</B> Mulitalo was drafted in the fourth round by the Ravens with the 129th overall selection in the 1999 NFL Draft.

Resume: Mulitalo is back in his comfort zone as a left guard next to All-Pro tackle Jonathan Ogden after an abridged experiment at right tackle. Mulitalo had started 44 consecutive games before the brief switch, and Baltimore (7-7) has a record of 38-18 since he became a starter midway through his rookie season. During the Ravens' Super Bowl campaign, Mulitalo contributed heavily to running back Jamal Lewis setting a club-record with 1,364 rushing yards for the fifth-rated running attack in the league. This season, Lewis ranks seventh in the AFC with 1,141 yards. Mulitalo is an unrestricted free agent whom Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has already stated he wants to secure to another contract during the off-season. Preliminary discussions have begun, according to the Ravens.

Role against Cleveland: Mulitalo will be paired against the Browns' defensive tackles Orpheus Roye and Gerard Warren, and he will be needed, on occasion, to reach the second level of Cleveland defensive coordinator Foge Fazio's defense. There, Mulitalo will encounter middle linebacker Earl Holmes. Most of the time, though, Mulitalo will be needed to form a protective pocket in front of quarterback Jeff Blake and clear holes for Lewis by cutting off Roye and Warren.

Ravens Insider: "Has some of the past ugliness to the rivalry between the Browns and the Ravens subsided?

Mulitalo: "I'm sure it's pushed aside from the Ravens' point of view and the Browns' point of view, but I don't know about the fans coming from Cleveland. They still feel that sting, but, for us, right now, whoever wins, they're in. That's our motto."

Ravens Insider: "What's your opinion on Warren and Roye?"

Mulitalo: "They definitely command respect. They are playing great. They are 300-pound players who run like they're 250 pounds. They're just tough guys, the kind you want to go against in December who test your ability."

Ravens Insider: "Is the game plan primarily based on establishing the running game?"

Mulitalo: "Obviously, we want to do that and get back to what we do best. Even if we're up, we want to keep that momentum going."

Ravens Insider: "Do you feel like the offensive line is playing its best football now?"

 Mulitalo: "I think so. Bennie Anderson went down last week and Casey Rabach came in and everything went smoothly. That's a big part of our offensive line, not skipping a beat when someone gets hurt."

Ravens Insider: "Has Ethan Brooks progressed to the point where you think he'll be retained as the right tackle next season?"

Mulitalo: "I hope so. I think he has done well. He has had his troubles, but we know as a team what he does. A lot of things the fans see and what the media sees are different from what we see in the film room. Hopefully, we keep him around. I think he's doing well."

Ravens Insider: "How tough do you think the decision will be for the organization to decide on a quarterback between Chris Redman and Jeff Blake."

Mulitalo: "It's always tough. I wouldn't be surprised if they're both back next year. My contract is up, too. All I want to do is portray trust in the organization that they want to keep me. There's a lot of decisions that happen upstairs that are beyond the players' control."


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