Ravens owner Art Modell had not been to practice for a few days, but one of the first players he visited at the Owings Mills complex yesterday was quarterback Vinny Testaverde to squelch any speculation about the team's obtaining suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Jeff George.
"In no way, shape or form are we doing anything with our quarterback situation other than what we have right now," said Modell. "He needed to know that from me.
"I do know this: George would rather play for Ted Marchibroda than any other coach in football. I've been told that many times. It doesn't alter our stance. We feel that Testaverde can lead us to many glorious victories."
George was suspended by Falcons coach June Jones on Sunday after they got into a screaming match during the third quarter of a 33-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons have said they would trade George.
George played for Marchibroda in 1992 and 1993 in Indianapolis.
Barely under cap
With the signings of tight end Eric Green and running back Bam Morris, the Ravens are about $38,000 under the salary cap.
"At this time, we don't anticipate making any other moves," said Ozzie Newsome, the team's vice president of personnel.
Pluggers still ail
Even with the signing of Keith Goganious Thursday, the Ravens' linebackers are ailing. Mike Caldwell is out for at least another month with a knee injury, while Mike Croel is nursing a knee sprain and remains questionable for the New Orleans game. Jerrol Williams will start in Caldwell's place on the weak side.
Croel's injury should mean significant playing time for second-year linebacker Craig Powell against the Saints.
Powell missed most of his rookie season in 1995 after having knee surgery a year ago to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Although he has shown promise on special teams with three solo tackles, the Ravens would like Powell to begin justifying their decision to draft him in the first round out of Ohio State last year.
"He needs to get some work," defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said. "He's more comfortable with his assignments, he's more comfortable with his knee, and he's been a productive guy on special teams. The more we can expand people's roles on defense, the better our defense will be."
Work, work, work
Some of the players were surprised that they didn't get more time off during the two weeks of preparation for the New Orleans Saints. The only byes were the goodbyes to vacation time.
"We didn't take vacation and maybe the players thought they'd get more time off, but it was important to try and get better and that's what we tried to do," said Marchibroda. "Basically, these are new systems for the players and we needed the extra work.
"We were banged up pretty good after the Steelers and Oilers games and we needed to get healthier. And we needed to regroup. We were kind of reeling after the two losses and we needed a little time to focus on the things we can do best."
Guard Jonathan Ogden will host a fund-raiser for the counsel on legal education opportunity (CLEO) at City Lights restaurant in Harbor Place from 6-10 p.m on Monday. Tickets are available at the door. Several other Ravens will attend. "It's important to give something back to the community," said Ogden, the team's No. 1 draft pick. Left tackle Tony Jones will be starting his 103rd consecutive game. Saints starting right tackle Clarence Jones was a four-year letter winner at the University of Maryland Executive vice president David Modell's wife, Olwen, gave birth to 9-pound, 1-ounce David Orrick Modell Jr. Wednesday.
Pub Date: 9/28/96