Blood infection prevents minicamp visit by Modell

Ravens notebook

April 28, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston | Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell had planned to fly from his West Palm Beach, Fla., residence in time to attend yesterday's afternoon practice at Owings Mills, but wound up in the hospital instead.

On Friday, Modell was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic of South Florida to be treated for a blood infection. Modell had complained about severe back pain when he was in Baltimore during draft weekend.

Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said the ailment is not believed to be serious, and that the cause of Modell's infection is undetermined. Byrne said Modell is expected to remain in the hospital for "a few days."

Team vice president David Modell flew to West Palm Beach on Friday and returned yesterday, which Byrne said was a good sign.

'Why Not Us?'

The Ravens have adopted "Why Not Us?" as their theme for the 1996 season. A huge banner is on display outside the locker room, and a bigger one is inside the weight room.

Coach Ted Marchibroda delivered the message Friday night at

TC team meeting, and several players were repeating it as they walked over the practice fields yesterday.

"It just sort of comes to mind and it applies to this football team," said Marchibroda. "We think the division is wide-open. Pittsburgh is still the favorite, but they've lost some key people."

Several players say the minicamp is more relaxed, compared to the ones run by former Cleveland Browns coach Bill Belichick.

"The camp is moving along pretty well," said tackle Tony Jones. "Ted has been pretty optimistic and positive thus far, and that rubs off."

Wide receiver Andre Rison said, "People are happy to see each other again. It wasn't that way last year when we struggled through the losing season. We didn't even talk to each other. But this is a fresh start and everybody here has something to prove."

Marchibroda adopted a "Let 'Er Rip" slogan midway through last season and his Indianapolis Colts came within one catch of the Super Bowl. The Browns stumbled through a 5-11 1995 season after several publications picked them to go to the Super Bowl.

Summer site update

Bob Eller, Ravens director of operations and information, said the team has begun preliminary talks with Western Maryland College officials about financial arrangements and the logistics of holding summer training camp on the Westminster campus.

Eller said team and college officials met Thursday, and members of the Ravens front office staff are expected to meet with Towson State University officials this week. Towson State and Western Maryland are the finalists.

"We still have both options open," said Eller.

Hand-me-downs

Because the team does not have a logo and team colors yet, most of their present shorts, black-and-white jerseys and 86 unpainted helmets will be discarded shortly after the minicamp.

Ravens equipment manager Ed Carroll said the equipment may be auctioned off by a charitable organization, or he may donate the items to an inner-city school.

"I try not to ever waste equipment," said Carroll, who has been with the team for seven years. "Every game, a player gets a pair of game socks. I'll wash up the old ones, and donate them to a homeless shelter."

Pub Date: 4/28/96

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