For someone blessed with quick feet, Frank Walker has an even faster mouth.
The cornerback has used his speed to get his hands on his fair share of deflected passes. He has also used his gift of gab to poke jabs at his teammates on the other side during Ravens training camp at McDaniel College in Westminster.
On Monday, Walker almost picked off quarterback Kyle Boller, but wide receiver Mark Clayton broke it up. Walker jawed at Clayton, "Turn into a DB!"
After he broke up Joe Flacco's pass to rookie wide receiver Ernie Wheelwright, Walker took off his helmet and spun it on the turf.
Walker said observers shouldn't mistake his chatter for mean-spiritedness. "No, [I'm] just a little enthused about what I do. I'm happy," he said. "I love doing this. I wouldn't trade this for the world."
"I like the way Frank plays," wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "He talks a lot of trash, but he backs it up also. If you're not mentally tough, he'll get you out of your game quick. So I like to have him on my team."
Walker, signed as a free agent from the Green Bay Packers, is competing with Samari Rolle, Fabian Washington and Corey Ivy for the Nos. 2 and 3 cornerback roles.
While Chris McAlister, Rolle, Washington and Ivy have missed a practice or two during training camp because of injury, bereavement or rest, Walker has taken part in every practice.
"I just bring an attitude out there as a corner," he said. "My whole thing is I want them to come at me. If it takes me talking to [the receiver] for him to go back there and tell his quarterback, 'Hey, let's go at Walker,' I want that work. I want it on my back, my shoulders."
Ngata making progress
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata took one step further in his rehabilitation, lining up in seven-on-seven drills yesterday morning.
Ngata, who had not practiced since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee July 27, said he probably wouldn't be able to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday but is hopeful that he can participate fully in practice today or tomorrow.
"I'm basically just trying to get the rust off," Ngata said. " ... I'm trusting it more. ... I'm not scared, but I'm just being careful."
Newly signed fullback Lorenzo Neal has no illusions about his role with the Ravens. "I know my job," he said. "I don't need to run the ball. I'm just here to hit guys. ... And just [provide] leadership." ... Unlike previous years, the rookies will not be tied to the goal posts or showered with shaving cream on the final day of training camp. "We haven't had any hazing," coach John Har baugh said. "We've talked about that. We're not a hazing team."