Shreveport-baltimore Tonight

July 23, 1994|By Ken Murray

Site: Memorial Stadium

Time: 7:30

Line: Baltimore by 17

TV/Radio: Ch. 2/WJFK (1300 AM)

Records: Shreveport 0-2; Baltimore 1-1

Last week: Shreveport lost its home opener to Toronto, 35-34. Baltimore lost its home opener to Calgary, 42-16.

On the sidelines: Forrest Gregg, a Hall of Fame tackle with the Green Bay Packers, became the Pirates head coach on June 17, replacing John Huard, who was fired. Gregg coached the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Packers in the NFL. He spent 1979 in the CFL, coaching the Toronto Argonauts to a 5-11 season. Don Matthews is in his 10th season as a CFL head coach and first in Baltimore. He has a record of 97-60-1.

What Shreveport has to do to win: Keep Baltimore's defense off balance with its running game. The Pirates must protect QB Terrence Jones and get the short passing game working. And if they get a lead, they must be able to protect it. They folded in the final five minutes of a 33-18 preseason loss to Baltimore in June at Shreveport and blew a 34-17 lead against Toronto last week.

What Baltimore has to do to win: Pressure Jones with the pass rush and stay away from turnovers that kept the June exhibition game close. At the same time, it needs a running game to keep the pass rush off QB Tracy Ham. Given time, Ham should be able to exploit Shreveport's man-to-man coverage.

Injury report: Baltimore -- QB Tracy Ham (ankle) will play; NT Jearld Baylis (knee) will play; LB Alvin Walton (hamstring) is out. Shreveport -- DT Brett Williams (knee), DB Harold Nash (knee) and WR Derrick Hill (shoulder) are out.

Outlook: Shreveport activated eight new players this week because of injury or player cuts. The Pirates are still in a state of transition that began when the team fired Huard. Baltimore, on the other hand, has enjoyed stability. As long as Ham doesn't reinjure the ankle he sprained last week, he should make the offense go. Both defensive teams will try to pressure the quarterback. Baltimore appears better prepared to get the job done at this point in the season.

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