Road will be no harder than usual, says Modell Owner believes success should be measured by home fans' reaction


August 09, 1996|By Mike Preston and Kevin Langbaum | Mike Preston and Kevin Langbaum,SUN STAFF

As the Ravens' first away game approaches, owner Art Modell is trying to downplay the possible negative reception his team may receive on the road this year.

"I'm not very concerned about how we're received," Modell said. "I did what I had to do and I'm happy I did it. I'm happy to be in Baltimore."

Modell said he has not been bothered by criticism, most recently from television commentator Bob Trumpy, that he should have sold the team and kept it in Cleveland rather than move.

"Let Bob Trumpy worry about his delivery on the air," Modell said. "I do what I have to do and they do what they have to do. They say I should have sold the club, I should not have sold the club. Nobody would have bought that team with the stadium situation. They'd be insane to think you could have found a buyer."

Said coach Ted Marchibroda, "I don't know about all this hate, and what does Trumpy know and how does he know what the whole country is thinking? Winning on the road is always hard. You just have to adjust. It won't be any more difficult than usual."

As for what the team should expect on the road, Modell said it should not be any different than it was in the past.

"They hated our guts when we went to Pittsburgh as the Browns; why would it be any different now?" he said. "That's not the measuring stick of success, how you're received on the road. It's how you're received at home that really counts."

Washington adjusts

Former Colt Joe Washington, who played under Marchibroda in Baltimore, addressed the team during yesterday's workout in Westminster.

"I told them I'm excited, just like everyone is, to have them here," said Washington, who still lives here. "Camp is always tough, but this is where it all starts. There's not too much you can tell these guys at the pro level."

Washington said he plans to attend the next home exhibition game and is having no difficulty getting used to the new look of Baltimore's team.

"It's a new name and everything and of course you're used to the Baltimore Colts," he said. "But football is football. The name doesn't mean anything. The uniforms don't really mean anything. You forget about that real quick."

Alexander's back

Wide receiver Derrick Alexander, who has missed more than a week of practice because of the death of his brother, worked out with the team yesterday.

Marchibroda said Alexander hasn't lost much. "He looks very good, he's all right," said Marchibroda. "He is the same Derrick that left here. Right now, I'm not thinking about playing him Saturday, but he wants to go. We'll just wait and see."

Marchibroda said he won't make decisions on rookie punt returner Jermaine Lewis and starting outside linebacker Mike Croel until game time. Croel has a calf strain and Lewis a groin injury.

Fan returns TD ball

After wide receiver Michael Jackson scored the first touchdown ever by the Ravens in last Saturday night's win over Philadelphia, he handed the ball to fan Mark S. Wilson of Baltimore.

Wilson was at first delighted to receive the ball, but later determined this was a historic moment and that Jackson should keep the ball. Wilson returned the ball yesterday in exchange for a photograph of himself and Jackson.

The music man

Jackson does not know how to do the Moonwalk, but he is in the recording business, just like his pop star namesake.

Jackson is manager of a Raw Elements, an R&B and mild rap group out of Cleveland.

"They've been around for a while, just haven't had the resources," said Jackson. "This is one area I plan to go into after my football career is over. With my name, I know I can steal a lot of stuff and get away with it. They'll just say, 'Hey, Mike Jackson has it.' "

Away from it all

Don't expect to see center Steve Everitt hanging around the locker room before a game. Since his playing days at the University of Michigan, the fourth-year player sits alone on the bench about two hours before the game, going over game situations in his head.

"There are just so many things going on in the locker room," he said. "There are a lot of distractions, a lot of music going on. I just like to get away."


Defensive tackle Larry Webster missed practice yesterday because of personal reasons, according to Marchibroda. Webster was expected to practice this morning. . . . Starting safety Eric Turner suffered a groin strain while backpedaling in a seven-on-seven drill, but should be ready in time for the Giants game.

Ravens camp

Where: Western Maryland College, Westminster

Practices: Run through next Thursday. All are free and open to the public. Time is 2: 30 p.m. to 5 p.m., but is subject to change.

Hotline: 1-888-9RAVENS

Directions from Baltimore: Take I-695 to Exit 19 to I-795 north to its end. Follow signs to Westminster via Route 140 north to Route 97 north. Turn left on exit ramp onto Pennsylvania Avenue. Go about 1 mile and turn left at Monroe Street. Turn right at Winters Alley. Parking lot is on left.

Ravens roll call

Ray Ethridge

Pos.: Wide receiver

Height: 5-10

Weight: 180

Age: 27

College: Pasadena City

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