More than 3,000 people showed up at Western Maryland College to watch the Ravens practice yesterday, and among other things, they saw rookie linebacker Ray Lewis get busy and stay busy.
As he has done all weekend, Lewis worked with the first group of linebackers, not surprising since he is expected to start in the middle of Baltimore's 4-3 defense. When he wasn't there, the Miami All-American was running down the field on special teams coverages.
When he was done, Lewis looked tired and sounded pleased.
"That's what you come here for. I don't think you come here to sit around, stand on the sideline and watch all day," Lewis said. "You don't get anything accomplished that way. It feels good to see the vets out here. The contact, the competitiveness, I'm loving it."
Second-year outside linebacker Craig Powell is just happy to be on the field and in pads again. Powell, who is expected to play the strong side, has worked out with the team for two days, and has experienced his first contact since undergoing surgery last October to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
"I'm kind of sore now, but I'm working through it," said Powell, who is essentially a rookie again. He has not played in 10 months, he is still learning the intricacies of defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis' system, and he has yet to test the knee under game conditions.
"I'm feeling good about it. The doctors are happy with my strength and my work habits," Powell said. "We're making a few mistakes, but we're correcting them. I feel like we're getting better each day. I haven't hit since last October, but I'll be ready to go by the time the season starts."
Ogden's biggest fans
Yesterday was Ogden Family Day on the practice field. Guard Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens' top draft pick, had three generations accounted for, as his parents, grandparents and younger brother watched the workout near the team. Shirrel Ogden, Jonathan's father, took pictures for Jonathan's grandparents, who came up from Washington to watch.
Incidentally, Marcus Ogden, Jonathan's 15-year-old brother, just started playing football recently. He might have a future in the game. Marcus already weighs 265 pounds.
"Marcus just started getting serious about lifting weights," Shirrel said. "He wanted to get on the field just to see what was going on. The language out there is not exactly Sunday school. But I'm not so naive that I didn't expect it."
Shirrel said he probably would slip away from his job at a financial planning firm in Washington to watch some weekday practices in the near future.
"I'm very fortunate. The place where I work is very lenient. If I decided to come up for a few days, they wouldn't say anything," he said. "Besides, he's a client."
Turner catching on
The play that drew the biggest reaction from the crowd was a catch by newly acquired receiver Floyd Turner. He cut across the middle, and caught a perfect, medium-range pass from Eric Zeier, despite blanket coverage by cornerback Antonio Langham.
The Ravens are counting on Turner to make those types of catches in the clutch this year. His reception yesterday drew rave reviews from everyone except Langham, who waved his arms and yelled in disgust after the play.
Cornerback DeRon Jenkins, who will battle veteran Issac Booth for the right cornerback job, picked off his first pass of camp. . . . From the Everybody Has A Bad Day Dept., veteran receiver Calvin Williams, known for his dependable hands, dropped two hTC passes. . . . Veteran guard Wally Williams threw several crunching blocks during nine-on-nine drills. . . . Defensive linemen Mike Frederick and Rick Lyle sat out with tender hamstrings; free-agent rookie cornerback Mario Bradley missed the workout with a sprained ankle. . . . Defensive lineman Tau Pupua injured his foot near the end of practice. . . . The Ravens are scheduled to practice twice all week, at 9 a.m. and 2: 40 p.m. On Saturday, they are scheduled to practice at 4 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. All workouts are open to the public.
Pub Date: 7/22/96
Where: Western Maryland College, Westminster
Practices: Run through Aug. 15. All are free and open to the public. Times are from 9 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. and 2: 30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Directions from Baltimore: Take I-695 to Exit 19 to I-795 north to its end. Follow signs to Westminster via Route 140 north to Route 97 north. Turn left on exit ramp onto Pennsylvania Avenue. Go about 1 mile and turn left on Monroe Street. Turn right at Winters Alley. Parking lot is on left.