Offensive line looking just fine

As first showings go, the offensive line of the future didn't look too bad.

With Adam Terry and Jared Gaither starting at right and left tackles, respectively, for the first time this preseason, the first offensive line's play in the Ravens' 10-9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at M&T; Bank Stadium last night was a positive development.


The unit did not surrender a sack and gave rookie quarterback Joe Flacco enough time to complete eight of 13 passes for 72 yards. Three of Flacco's completions covered at least 12 yards, including a 22-yard play-action pass to wide receiver Demetrius Williams.

"They were incredible," Flacco said of the offensive line. "I felt like I was standing back there and nobody was within 10 yards of me. I felt ridiculously protected."


Behind the line, rookie running back Ray Rice churned out 37 yards on seven carries, including a

23-yard run at the start of the second quarter that put the Ravens in position for a 25-yard field goal by Matt Stover.

More importantly, the linemen reported no new injuries or setbacks.

"We are starting to build the kind of chemistry that we need," Gaither said. "We had a good week of practice this week, and I think we will continue to come together the way we're supposed to."

Center Jason Brown, left guard Ben Grubbs and right guard Marshal Yanda had played in every preseason game, but Terry and Gaither hadn't played since spraining their ankles within a four-day stretch in late July.

Gaither, the heir apparent to almost certain Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden, returned to practice Monday.

Several other season-opening starters made their preseason debuts.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained medial collateral ligament in right knee) started alongside Justin Bannan and made one tackle.


"I don't have any pain or any swelling," Ngata said. "Hopefully, it'll stay like that throughout the season."

Tight end Todd Heap (right calf) also started, although he did not record a catch.

Frank Walker, Corey Ivy, David Pittman and Ronnie Prude got a lot of work last night because half the team's cornerbacks did not play.

Chris McAlister (swollen right knee), Samari Rolle (undisclosed), Fabian Washington (hamstring) and Derrick Martin (right shoulder) were sidelined. Also, free safety Ed Reed (shoulder) did not play.

Others who did not play included linebackers Ray Lewis (undisclosed) and Tavares Gooden (concussion), a rookie, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (arthroscopic knee surgery), running back Willis McGahee (arthroscopic knee surgery) and rookie wide receiver Marcus Smith (separated right shoulder).

Walker and Ivy started at cornerback, Nick Greisen replaced Lewis, and Bannan filled in for Gregg. Jim Leonhard started in place of Reed.


End zone

Running back Cory Ross was carted off the field and to the locker room in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle, but X-rays were negative. Wide receiver and return specialist Yamon Figurs suffered a minor concussion on the opening kickoff return, but he said the injury was not serious. ... Quarterback Casey Bramlet, who was signed yesterday, took a red-eye flight to Baltimore and participated in a walk-through in the team's hotel before last night's game. Bramlet entered the game at the 11:19 mark of the second quarter and completed seven of 21 passes for 100 yards with two interceptions. To make room for Bramlet, the team waived rookie kicker Piotr Czech.