Defensive line makes a stand Tackles and ends team to bottle up Giants attack both inside and outside


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As much as the Ravens' offensive line dictated the terms of yesterday's 37-27 preseason victory over the New York Giants, the defensive front had an equally strong say in the proceedings.

Inside, starting tackles Tim Goad and Dan Footman held their ground steadily, bottling up any running lanes for Rodney Hampton and Keith Elias. Outside, ends Rob Burnett and Anthony Pleasant took turns making great plays in the first half, when the Giants managed only one first down.

Burnett established his presence from the left side on the first play from scrimmage, when he charged past right tackle Scott Gragg to drop Hampton for no gain. The Giants punted three plays later. On New York's next series, Pleasant tackled Hampton after a 2-yard passing gain, then stuffed Elias for a 2-yard loss a play later, forcing another punt. Pleasant later pressured Tommy Maddox into an incompletion.

"We were just trying to set the tempo," said Burnett, who made three tackles and deflected a pass that led to a Vashone Adams interception in a busy first half. "That puts a little bug in the offense's ear. They know they're going to be in for a long day. Our goal is to be in full stride by Sept. 1. It's coming."

Headed for a fine?

A fashion choice by center Steve Everitt caused a stir on the Ravens sideline.

Everitt spent the second half hanging out with the rest of his first-string linemen. But, while his teammates wore Ravens caps, Everitt conspicuously wore a Cleveland Browns bandanna for the national TV audience.

Early in the third quarter, Ravens equipment manager Ed Carroll approached Everitt and asked him to remove the bandanna. Everitt shrugged his shoulders. The headwear stayed.

"He [Carroll] told me the league wanted me to take it off," said Everitt, who added he expects to be fined. "I've got a lot of people back in Cleveland that I still talk to, and I wanted them to know we haven't forgotten about them."

"I thought we were having another halftime show," joked team owner Art Modell. "I'm going to wear it next week. Whatever the fine is, I'll pay it."

Said offensive tackle Tony Jones: "I know he is going to get fined, but it was nice to see support. Steve wasn't disrespecting Baltimore, just saluting Cleveland. I don't think he's going to be -- wearing it any more, baby."

Catching up

Wide receiver Derrick Alexander was a happy man yesterday. Alexander, who rejoined the team Wednesday after an 11-day absence brought on by the death of his brother, looked surprisingly comfortable while catching three passes for 34 yards. Two were good for first downs.

"Luckily, I still retained some of my football sense while I was gone," he said. "That's the first time I've been hit in a while. It felt pretty good."

All aboard

The Ravens traveled to the Meadowlands by train, just like the NFL did it in the old days.

Free safety Eric Turner had never been on a train before.

"I was just dead weight, extra baggage," said Turner, who sat out yesterday's game with a sore groin. "They want me to sit in the cargo section on the way back.

"It wasn't bad. I was just hoping we stayed on the right track. We had throwback jerseys last year. This year, we got a throwback train ride."

Returning the favor

Ravens rookie guard Jonathan Ogden got his first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty midway in the second period when he got involved in a shoving match with Giants safety Tito Wooten.

"There was a fumble and I'm running over to get the ball," said Ogden. "There's already two guys on the ground, so I dive over the pile. Then when I'm getting up, some dude hits me in the back of the neck. It was just a reaction, but I have always been taught that when someone attacks you, you attack back."

J. Lewis takes it easy

Maryland rookie wide receiver Jermaine Lewis was used sparingly yesterday, and not at all as a punt returner. The decision was not Lewis', who has a groin injury.

"I'm not 100 percent, but I plan on being ready for next week's game," said Lewis.

Late notice

Adams said he didn't learn he was filling in for Turner at safety RTC until two minutes before game time. Adams played almost the entire game, finishing with two assisted tackles, and one interception that he returned 29 yards and was one tackle away from a touchdown.

"Mentally, it takes a toll on you playing a whole game this early," said Adams. "I would have had a touchdown but I got a cramp."

Giants QB picture fuzzy

The Giants didn't start Dave Brown, but their backup quarterback situation is still unsettled.

Maddox completed five of 10 passes for 42 yards, Stan White was five of nine for 83 yards, and Danny Kanell was eight of 13 for 79 yards.

"Well, I think you've got to look at the film," said Giants coach Dan Reeves. "It's always easy to blame everything on the quarterback."


Second-year player Ray Ethridge, battling to win a spot in a tough receiving corps, made a case for himself in the second half with an 84-yard TD punt return and two catches for 17 yards. . . . Third-year tight end Harold Bishop, who is trying to unseat veteran Brian Kinchen, turned in an inconsistent performance. He caught a 22-yard pass, but later dropped a touchdown pass from Eric Zeier, who completed eight of 11 passes for 71 yards in the second half. . . . Running back Earnest Hunter caught Marchibroda's eye in the second half by rushing for 40 yards and returning a kickoff for 30 yards. . . . Outside linebacker Mike Caldwell recorded his first sack of the preseason. . . . Leroy Hoard (knee bruise) and linebacker P. J. Killian (thumb) sustained minor injuries.

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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