As the Ravens' first away game approaches, owner Art Modell is trying to downplay the possible negative reception his team may receive on the road this year.
"I'm not very concerned about how we're received," Modell said. "I did what I had to do and I'm happy I did it. I'm happy to be in Baltimore."
Modell said he has not been bothered by criticism, most recently from television commentator Bob Trumpy, that he should have sold the team and kept it in Cleveland rather than move.
"Let Bob Trumpy worry about his delivery on the air," Modell said. "I do what I have to do and they do what they have to do. They say I should have sold the club, I should not have sold the club. Nobody would have bought that team with the stadium situation. They'd be insane to think you could have found a buyer."
Said coach Ted Marchibroda, "I don't know about all this hate, and what does Trumpy know and how does he know what the whole country is thinking? Winning on the road is always hard. You just have to adjust. It won't be any more difficult than usual."
As for what the team should expect on the road, Modell said it should not be any different than it was in the past.
"They hated our guts when we went to Pittsburgh as the Browns; why would it be any different now?" he said. "That's not the measuring stick of success, how you're received on the road. It's how you're received at home that really counts."
Former Colt Joe Washington, who played under Marchibroda in Baltimore, addressed the team during yesterday's workout in Westminster.
"I told them I'm excited, just like everyone is, to have them here," said Washington, who still lives here. "Camp is always tough, but this is where it all starts. There's not too much you can tell these guys at the pro level."
Washington said he plans to attend the next home exhibition game and is having no difficulty getting used to the new look of Baltimore's team.
"It's a new name and everything and of course you're used to the Baltimore Colts," he said. "But football is football. The name doesn't mean anything. The uniforms don't really mean anything. You forget about that real quick."
Wide receiver Derrick Alexander, who has missed more than a week of practice because of the death of his brother, worked out with the team yesterday.
Marchibroda said Alexander hasn't lost much. "He looks very good, he's all right," said Marchibroda. "He is the same Derrick that left here. Right now, I'm not thinking about playing him Saturday, but he wants to go. We'll just wait and see."
Marchibroda said he won't make decisions on rookie punt returner Jermaine Lewis and starting outside linebacker Mike Croel until game time. Croel has a calf strain and Lewis a groin injury.
Fan returns TD ball
After wide receiver Michael Jackson scored the first touchdown ever by the Ravens in last Saturday night's win over Philadelphia, he handed the ball to fan Mark S. Wilson of Baltimore.
Wilson was at first delighted to receive the ball, but later determined this was a historic moment and that Jackson should keep the ball. Wilson returned the ball yesterday in exchange for a photograph of himself and Jackson.
The music man
Jackson does not know how to do the Moonwalk, but he is in the recording business, just like his pop star namesake.
Jackson is manager of a Raw Elements, an R&B; and mild rap group out of Cleveland.
"They've been around for a while, just haven't had the resources," said Jackson. "This is one area I plan to go into after my football career is over. With my name, I know I can steal a lot of stuff and get away with it. They'll just say, 'Hey, Mike Jackson has it.' "
Away from it all
Don't expect to see center Steve Everitt hanging around the locker room before a game. Since his playing days at the University of Michigan, the fourth-year player sits alone on the bench about two hours before the game, going over game situations in his head.
"There are just so many things going on in the locker room," he said. "There are a lot of distractions, a lot of music going on. I just like to get away."
Defensive tackle Larry Webster missed practice yesterday because of personal reasons, according to Marchibroda. Webster was expected to practice this morning. . . . Starting safety Eric Turner suffered a groin strain while backpedaling in a seven-on-seven drill, but should be ready in time for the Giants game.
Where: Western Maryland College, Westminster
Practices: Run through next Thursday. All are free and open to the public. Time is 2: 30 p.m. to 5 p.m., but is subject to change.
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 at Monroe Street. Turn right at Winters Alley. Parking lot is on left.
Ravens roll call
Pos.: Wide receiver
College: Pasadena City
How acquired: Free agent, 1995
Highlights: Selected by San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 1992 NFL draft. Waived by Chargers in September 1993 and did not play in 1993 or 1994. Signed with Cleveland in May 1995. Former wide receiver-kick returner for the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. Averaged 15.6 yards on 18 catches for the Lions in 1991. Returned 16 kickoffs for 402 yards, including a 94-yarder for a touchdown. Attended Pasadena City College. Named All-America, All-State and All-Mission Conference first-team choice in 1990.
Personal: Named All-Conference and All-CIF selection in both football and track for Crawford High School in San Diego. Ran track briefly for South Africa in 1988. His mother, Vernolia Walker, won a silver medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics in the 100-meter dash. He and his wife, Wanda, have a daughter, Rayven, 4.
How acquired: Selected by the Browns with their first-round pick (14th overall) in the 1993 NFL draft.
Highlights: Everitt has started all but three games since being drafted by the Browns in 1993. He was the first offensive lineman selected by the Browns on the first round since Pete Adams in 1973. He makes all the calls on the offensive line. Started all 16 games as a rookie in 1993 and won 1993 All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly, Football Digest and College and Pro Football Weekly. Was a member of Browns' offensive line that permitted the league's fewest sacks, 14, in 1994. Earned First-Team All-Big Ten as well as second-team UPI as a senior at Michigan. Named Co-MVP of the Gator Bowl as a sophomore. Started every game at center as a college freshman and was selected one of the top linemen by The Sporting News. Named Dade County Offensive Player of the Year as a high school senior.
Personal: Earned a degree in fine arts and specializes in painting. Sponsors two college scholarships at his former high school (Southridge). Devoted much of his time to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital while team was in Cleveland. He was a featured artist at NOVA (New Organization for the Visual Arts). His father, Michael, is an experienced sculptor. Is a regular at heavy-metal rock concerts, and is a fan of KISS.