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Champs hope Thompson is special

THE BALTIMORE SUN

After getting the call late last year, receiver Germany Thompson is willing to do whatever he has to do to keep his roster spot.

Thompson, 6 feet 2, 208 pounds, was signed off the Ravens' practice squad and onto the active roster for the final three playoff games last year after tight end John Jones went down with an ankle injury.

Thompson was on the inactive list for all three, but it netted him a Super Bowl ring and a good chance at making the active roster at the start of this season.

He made an impressive diving catch yesterday, a play indicative of how his camp is going.

"It's going along all right so far, but I know I still need to improve in some areas," Thompson said. "That's what I'm working on each day."

Thompson had a strong preseason last year after signing as an undrafted free agent out of New Mexico. He had seven receptions for 102 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown.

"This year, I'm more clear about the offense," Thompson said. "I know pretty much every position at receiver. Now I can go out and work on my techniques more than sitting in my room studying because I don't know the plays."

With the loss of special teams standout Billy Davis to free agency, the team would like Thompson to fill that void. Davis finished fourth on the team with 15 tackles last year.

"I'll do anything to make this team and help this team win," Thompson said. "I'm looking forward to doing just as much as Billy did, or make the situation better."

Said Ravens coach Brian Billick: "He's just a guy that I keep looking up, and he keeps doing good things."

Harris still out

The Ravens again were without starting strong safety Corey Harris for yesterday's practice.

Harris left the team last week because of a family emergency. Billick has virtually ruled Harris out of Saturday's preseason game against the New York Jets. Anthony Mitchell will take his place.

"He's still having a personal difficulty he is having to deal with, he and his wife," Billick said. "We're hoping Corey will join us by the end of this week. He won't play against the Jets. I seriously doubt that."

Billick on Banks

Billick didn't have much to say about the Dallas Cowboys' release of former Ravens quarterback Tony Banks.

This time last year, Banks was the starter for the Ravens. Banks signed as a free agent with the Cowboys in the off-season and was supposed to be the starting quarterback this season before the team decided to go with rookie Quincy Carter.

"It was a surprise," Billick said. "I was surprised to see that. That's all I can add to it because I don't know the situation."

End zone

Cornerback James Trapp participated in full-contact drills yesterday for the first time since separating his shoulder the first week of training camp. Trapp resumed his normal position as the team's third cornerback in nickel situations. Defensive back Pete Destefano left practice early with an ankle injury. ... Ravens trainer Bill Tessendorf said there have been no setbacks in Jamal Lewis' knee rehabilitation. Lewis tore a ligament and sprained another in his left knee last week and is out for the season.

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