Revenge factor helps Croel get well Linebacker makes vow he'll play against Giants

Ravens notebook

August 08, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Outside linebacker Mike Croel has two reasons to get well for Saturday's preseason game against the New York Giants.

First, Croel was forced to sit out the Ravens' preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles with a sore calf muscle. Second, the idea of facing the team that cut him in April is too delicious for him to miss the game.

Croel, who practiced for the third day in a row yesterday, is still bothered by the injury.

"It started feeling a little better today," Croel said. "I'm just trying to get the swelling out of there, so I can go by Saturday. I'm going to be 100 percent by Saturday. It's always good to play a team that released you. You want to beat them up some and come back with a victory. That makes you feel good."

Jones a wanted man

The Ravens are far from alone in their pursuit of former Broncos defensive tackle James Jones.

According to Jack Wirth, Jones' agent, 11 teams have inquired about Jones, who played for the Cleveland Browns from 1991 through 1994 before signing with Denver last year.

Jones, 6 feet 2, 290 pounds, became a recent salary cap casualty in Denver. Salary cap problems also could prevent the Ravens from bringing Jones back to the organization he started with as a third-round draft pick five years ago. According to Ozzie Newsome, Ravens vice president of personnel, the Ravens are only $62,000 under the cap.

Jones made $900,000 in base salary last year, when he started all 16 games and made 49 tackles. Wirth said whatever team gets him should be prepared to pay a similar amount. Wirth is looking for a two-year deal in the $1.6 million neighborhood.

Wirth also said Jones would prefer to play for the Ravens, since he knows many of their players and likes defensive line coach Jacob Burney.

"He would go there [to the Ravens] in a minute, but they haven't called us this week. They were supposed to clear some money, '' but that hasn't happened," Wirth said.

Road hazards

Some Ravens were asked about playing on the road this year, and the anger their presence might inspire in fans who resent the team's move from Cleveland. Their response was basically a yawn.

"We don't pay any attention to that stuff," linebacker Mike Croel said. "We have a job to do, and that's all we care about."

Added offensive line coach Kirk Ferentz: "I'm sure there's going to be some animosity. But whenever you go on the road, it's going to be hostile. It's that much more fun to win on the road. It's a great challenge to go into someone else's place and beat them."

Moore talks to team

Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore was a special guest at yesterday's practice. After watching the two-hour workout, Moore spoke to the team about getting involved in the Baltimore community, something Moore has done through his ministry for years.

"I just wanted to come out and get to know these guys," Moore said. "I want to be a part of them and I want them to be a part of us in the community."

L Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda saluted Moore with high praise.

"In my mind, Lenny Moore was the Deion Sanders of his day," he said. "The two greatest athletes from a skill position standpoint are Lenny and Deion. He's a fine voice in the community here."

Miscellaneous

Jermaine Lewis, nursing a groin pull, practiced lightly yesterday. . . . Left tackle Tony Jones, suffering from a similar injury, limited his workout as well. . . . Wide receiver James Roe's one-handed grab while streaking down the right sideline was yesterday's highlight. . . . About 850 season tickets remain. Six thousand single-game tickets for each of the Ravens' eight regular-season games go on sale at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Ravens preseason

Saturday

Opponent: New York Giants

Time: 1 p.m.

Site: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

TV/Radio: Chs. 11, 4/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)

Schedule

Date Opponent Time TV

Aug. 17 Green Bay 7 54

Aug. 23 at Buffalo 7: 30 54

Pub Date: 8/08/96

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