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Boulware visits Ravens camp, happy to be back with team


Linebacker Peter Boulware returned as a spectator to practice yesterday, wearing a smile that indicated the obvious.

For Boulware, it was good to return home.

"When I got the call that maybe it was an opportunity to come back, I just wanted to jump all on it. I'm just glad to be here," Boulware said after the session.

Boulware spent his first eight seasons with the Ravens but was released in February after he and his agent failed to reach an agreement on a restructured contract.

He signed a one-year deal worth about $1 million late Thursday night, but that was about half of what his base salary would have been had he accepted the earlier deal.

Boulware, though, maintained that his focus was more on playing time than money, and with the Ravens selecting Dan Cody in the second-round of the draft, he envisioned his role diminished.

Once Cody hurt his knee the first day of training camp - an injury that will likely keep him out for the season - the team's need for a pass-rushing specialist increased, and Boulware was back in the fold.

"At the end of the day, it wasn't about money," Boulware said. "I just wanted to be a Raven. The money was irrelevant. What means most to me is being back here with my team and my family."

The Ravens hope Boulware will be ready to play in the preseason finale against the Washington Redskins.

Soggy McDaniel finale

The Ravens held their last practice at McDaniel College in a rain-soaked walk-through that served as an unglamorous sendoff.

Two other practices had to be moved because of rain, and a few early practices were held in temperatures that got into the mid-90s.

Coach Brian Billick actually cut back from two-a-day practices last week.

Despite the uneven conditions, Billick considered training camp 2005 a success.

"We got a lot done," Billick said. "We've got a long way to go. We still have three weeks before the season, so there is a lot of work to be done. But at the same token, I think we got done in three weeks here what we intended to get done."

Thomas out

Linebacker Adalius Thomas will not play in tonight's home preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Thomas practiced with the starters Thursday but did not take part in the workout yesterday. It will be the second game Thomas has missed because of a hyperextended knee.

"He's feeling better," Billick said. "All the imagery is negative."

Owens news draws shrug

News that Eagles receiver Terrell Owens will not play tonight was met with a collective shrug by the Ravens.

Asked if Owens' absence will affect the game plan, Billick said, "Not really," and quickly moved on to another topic.

Things to watch

Position: Wide receiver. With the top three essentially set - Derrick Mason, Clarence Moore and Mark Clayton - the Ravens are still sorting out the rest of the group. They see Randy Hymes as a solid backup to Moore because he gives them similar leaping ability. They want more consistency out of Devard Darling, but it would be difficult to give up on a third-round pick so early. And they remain pleasantly surprised with Patrick Johnson, although he needs to continue a strong summer to push himself off the bubble.

Veteran: Right cornerback Samari Rolle (right). Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan joked that he didn't remember Rolle playing in the preseason opener, which is a high compliment for a cornerback. Let's see if he is equally effective against a watered-down Eagles receiving corps.

Rookie: Middle linebacker Mike Smith. The last pick of the Ravens' draft had a favorable debut. He led the Ravens with five tackles, including a sack in the fourth quarter. But his impact on special teams will likely decide if he makes the team.

On the bubble: Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd. The undrafted rookie drove his only attempt in the preseason opener to the 2-yard line. But the Ravens brought in new competition this week with the signing of Owen Pochman.

Injury report: TE Todd Heap (shoulder and ankle) and RB Musa Smith (leg) are on the physically-unable-to-perform list. RB Jamal Lewis (ankle), OLB Adalius Thomas (knee), OLB Dan Cody (knee) and CB Dale Carter (leg) will not play.

- Jamison Hensley

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