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Douglas, A. Thomas stage spirited competition at end

The Ravens' truest position competition is taking place at right defensive end.

Marques Douglas and Adalius Thomas have split virtually every series with the starters, and neither seems to have an edge over the other nearly two weeks into camp.

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"The only ones that aren't splitting reps are Kelly [Gregg] and [Tony] Weaver," defensive line coach Rex Ryan said. "They are clearly starters, and the rest of the guys we are splitting reps."

Douglas was the starter last season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in Week 5. Thomas took over the rest of the year and finished with 68 tackles and three sacks.

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No matter which player is on the field for the opening snap, both are expected to play.

"We both have a proper understanding of what Rex Ryan wants out of both of us, and we just want to fit into those roles," Douglas said. "One thing we both realized coming into camp is that our ego has to die down, and we both have to work for the greater goal of the team.

"Once you understand this role and how you can help this team, you have to embrace it."

Douglas seems to have fully recovered from the injury after seeing action in a number of full-speed plays all camp.

Thomas, an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, is having a much easier camp than a year ago when the team shuffled him between linebacker and the defensive line.

"I know everybody is making a big deal out of who is starting but we are going to suit up 11 good players, and everybody is going to get reps," Ryan said.

Rutledge expected

The Ravens are expected to sign former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Johnny Rutledge today.

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Rutledge, a second-round pick out of Florida, had a forgettable four years with the Cardinals, where he never became a full-time starter and was shuttled between outside and middle linebacker. Rutledge, 26, played in just nine games last season and recorded two tackles.

His signing should help ease the loss of top backup Bernardo Harris, who is out four to six weeks with a broken fibula.

The Ravens also worked out John Thierry, a nine-year veteran with Chicago, Green Bay and Atlanta, and Phil Clark. Thierry is a former starter with the Bears, who has 33 1/2 career sacks, but the Ravens are not expected to sign him.

Focus shifts to Bills

With the focus of practice shifting toward Saturday's game against the Buffalo Bills, the coaches were more involved in the huddles than usual.

Before nearly every play, offensive coaches held a chart with the play design to ensure players knew their responsibilities.

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Starters on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball also practiced mostly against second- and third-stringers, rather than themselves.

"This was a different practice than they have had because they are servicing each other," Billick said. "So there is a little bit of 'What do I do, where am I supposed to be?' We worked through it OK."

Imitating the shotgun

Imitating Drew Bledsoe running the Ravens' scout team, quarterback Anthony Wright lined up in the shotgun and enjoyed the view.

The Ravens had not been using any shotgun in training camp before yesterday. It is a staple of the Bills' pass-oriented offense.

"I was just trying to mimic Drew," Wright said. "We did it last year with Jeff [Blake] and Chris [Redman]. I did it in college, so I have no problem with it."

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Practice moved

The Ravens moved tomorrow's practice from McDaniel College to M&T; Bank Stadium. The practice is from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. and will be closed to the public. The afternoon session has been canceled, and the team will resume open practices at McDaniel on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Billick vague on QB

As promised, Billick was intentionally vague when asked about his quarterback rotation for Saturday's game.

"He will take some snaps, throw the ball and come out when the next guy comes in," Billick said of the starter. "The starting quarterback will go the first quarter, the second guy will go the second quarter and the third guy will go the second half, probably in that order."

Billick was more straightforward with running back Jamal Lewis, who he said will play about six snaps and get three to four carries.


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