Testaverde enters the comfort zone Quarterback, receivers making good progress with offensive transition

Ravens Notebook

July 31, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

With nearly 90 percent of the offense implemented, Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde believes he has handled the transition smoothly so far.

Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda will use the one-back set as his base formation, but he plans on giving the opposition several different looks, including the no-huddle attack, a two-back and shotgun formations.

"Things are going pretty well," said Testaverde. "The biggest thing was for me to feel comfortable with the offense and new personnel, such as some of our new receivers."

"With Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander missing some practice time, I've had a chance to work with just about everybody except Floyd Turner [out until the first week of September because of a knee injury]," he said. "I haven't found myself going home in the evening saying I really need to focus on this or that. This is the most comfortable I've felt about an offense in quite a while."

Marchibroda said: "Overall, Vinny has handled this offense well. We're at the point where we're no longer just dropping back to throw, but we're finding our secondary receivers. I'm happy with his progress."


A few of the Ravens are still searching for homes in the area, including Marchibroda.

"I've put in a bid, but I'll let you know tomorrow if I'm going to settlement," said Marchibroda.

The Ravens don't feel house-hunting will be a distraction. "I'm still looking for a place," said running back Earnest Byner. "Every time I find one, it's either sold or under contract to be sold. There is always a transition anytime you have to pick up and move. I don't want to go through it again, but it's part of the life we live."

Injury updates

All-pro free safety Eric Turner returned to practice yesterday after missing two sessions on Monday with a virus.

While the rest of the team was in shorts, helmets and jerseys yesterday morning, Turner wore sweat clothes. Everyone practiced in full gear during the afternoon.

"I can't give a percentage on my health, but it's better than the day before," said Turner. "At least I'm on the upswing."

Six players missed practice yesterday because of injuries: wide receiver Ray Ethridge (hip flexor), tight end Frank Hartley (hamstring), outside linebacker Mike Croel (calf strain), defensive end Rob Burnett (hip) and reserve offensive tackles Herman Arvie (broken nose) and Jed Devries (muscle and nerve damage in shoulder).

Alexander missed a third straight day. His brother Garrett, 33, died Monday afternoon of lung failure in Detroit. The funeral is Saturday, and Alexander is not expected to play in the team's opening preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

CB Griffin signed

When the Ravens play the Eagles, there will be a familiar face on the sideline. Philadelphia signed Ravens cornerback Don Griffin on Monday. Griffin spent the previous two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Pub Date: 7/31/96

Ravens roll call

Rob Burnett

Pos.: Defensive line

Height: 6-4

Weight: 280

Age: 28

College: Syracuse

Pro experience: 7

How acquired: 5th-round draft pick, 1990

Highlights: Has 35 1/2 sacks in the last four seasons, tops on the team. Named first alternate to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and played for injured Bruce Smith. Last season, moved to sixth on the Browns' all-time QB sack list with 38 1/2 , surpassing Reggie Camp, who had 36 1/2 . Had six tackles in his 50th NFL game (10/10/93) vs. Miami. Finished rookie year by starting final six games at left defensive tackle. Entering this season owns a 64-game start streak.

Personal: Lombardi Award semifinalist. Won honorable mention All-America honors from the Sporting News as a college senior. Was All-League, All-County and All-Long Island linebacker at Newfield (Coram, N.Y.) High School. Also lettered in baseball and basketball. Received his degree in economics. Wears "GWB" on his football shoes as a salute to his grandfather.

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