Oh, that morning after the night off before Lackluster practice follows first time without curfew


The Ravens practiced yesterday at Western Maryland College after enjoying their first night off since training camp began 13 days ago. Players spent their first night without a curfew, and were not required to report to camp until lunchtime.

Among the dropped passes, missed blocks and general lack of hustle, the workout was a bit uninspired.

"They practiced sort of like you'd expect them to after a night off," coach Ted Marchibroda said. "You hope the practice level doesn't fall off, but it did. Nothing to be concerned about. It's going to happen. We expect better practices tomorrow."

Rookie wide receiver James Roe raised his hand as one of the guilty. Roe spent Saturday night with his family at his new Owings Mills home, slept until 8 yesterday morning, then rolled into Western Maryland for lunch.

"We all looked kind of slow. I felt terrible out there. My legs are still beat," Roe said. "I needed a lot more water today. I just felt weak. I've never endured something like this. It's rough on your body."

Wide receiver Michael Jackson and rookie cornerback DeRon Jenkins gave their bodies a break yesterday. Jackson sat out with a tender hamstring. Jenkins missed with a sore back. Marchibroda said Jenkins will be examined by the team doctor today.

Alexander a no-show

Wide receiver Derrick Alexander was an unexpected no-show at practice. Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said Alexander's brother is seriously ill. Alexander flew home to Detroit to be with him early yesterday morning.

Hoard is back

Running back Leroy Hoard was happy to be practicing in pads yesterday. That marked his first full workout since a sinus infection knocked him out of action for much of last week. Antibiotics have been doing their job, and Hoard said he is about 75 percent healthy.

"I felt like I was dying for about four or five days, but I'm all right now. I'm just happy to make it through practice without a headache or without needing air," said Hoard, who said he lost nine pounds over a two-day stretch last week when his diet basically consisted of juice. He barely left his hotel room during those two days.

"I just came over here in the morning, said hi, then went back to sleep, then came over at four, saw the doctor and went back to sleep again," he said. "I wouldn't wish that feeling on an enemy."

Flip-flop at tackle

Veteran left defensive tackle Tim Goad jumped into the first unit ahead of Larry Webster again yesterday, meaning the competition at that spot is heating up.

"We've been alternating Tim and Larry, trying to keep the competition going and keep both guys involved," defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said. "We'll need both of them, and they each add something to the inside group."

Among the free agents trying to win a spot on defense, Lewis said he has been especially impressed by cornerback Donny Brady.

Whole half for starters

Marchibroda said he probably will play starters for the entire first half in the team's preseason opener Saturday against Philadelphia. Typically, starters play for a quarter.

"With our guys, we have to play them [for the half]," he said. "Everything is so new, offensively and defensively, and we've only got four weeks to go [until the regular-season opener]."

Marchibroda added the Ravens probably will practice against the simulated Eagles offense and defense on Wednesday and (( Thursday. He said very little remains to be added to the new offense.

"We're just polishing," he said.

Pub Date: 7/29/96

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