The Ravens took a major step toward completing their roster for opening day yesterday when they waived 18 players to reduce the size of the squad to 62.
The team waived tight ends Charles Randolph and Michael Warren, offensive linemen Deron Thorp, Marquin Bivins and Pulu Poumele, wide receivers Orlando Parker and James Bowden, quarterback Mike Groh, running backs Henry Fields and Ricky Powers, fullback Richard Thomas, defensive linemen Larry Williams and Chad Eaton, linebacker Larry McSeed, cornerbacks Mario Bradley and Teddy Lawrence, safety Dante DePaola and kicker Chris Mac- Innis.
The Ravens must trim their roster to 60 by 4 p.m. today, and they probably will do so by placing two players on injured reserve. Injured players cannot be released. By Aug. 25, two days after Friday's preseason finale in Buffalo, the team must get down to 53 players.
"It's tough. You get to know these guys during the off-season," said coach Ted Marchibroda of the 18 cuts. "You're with them for a month [in training camp], you see them work hard and they're fine individuals. You hate to see some of them go. But they know what the situation is."
Yesterday's victims were faced with difficult situations from the first day of training camp. Fifteen of the 18 waived were free-agent rookies who had the unenviable tasks of beating out veterans. The other three -- Poumele, Eaton and Powers -- were part of the organization last year in Cleveland.
Poumele spent all of last season on the Browns' practice squad. Eaton spent most of the season there before signing for the last two regular-season games. He never played.
Powers, who played collegiately at Michigan, was activated from the practice squad for the final two games last season. He rushed 14 times for 51 yards, caught one pass for six and returned three kickoffs for 54.
Some of the big winners yesterday were wide receiver Ray Ethridge, running back Derrick Cullors and defensive tackle David Barnard.
Ethridge, making his fourth run at an NFL job at age 27, has yet to play a regular-season down. Last August, he was traded by the Browns to Carolina, before being waived in that team'sfinal cuts. Early in the Ravens' training camp, it appeared Ethridge would lose the battle for the team's final receiving spot to sixth-round draft pick James Roe.
But Roe appears headed for the practice squad, and Ethridge's stock has risen after strong preseason showings against the Giants and Packers. Against Green Bay on Saturday, he caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
"The reaper let me last," a smiling Ethridge said yesterday. "I felt like I had made a stand, but I wasn't too overconfident. I knew I had worked hard. I slept well, got up and came here for a regular work day, until they told me differently."
Barnard, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound free-agent rookie out of Florida, has impressed the Ravens with his strength and quickness inside. Cullors, who likely will end up on the practice squad, finally got a chance to play in the last four minutes against the Packers, after not seeing any action in the previous two exhibition games. He touched the ball six times and accounted for 42 yards of offense, including a 25-yard run that sparked a scoring drive.
"I had faith that I was going to be here," said Cullors, who played for Division I-AA Murray State. "I knew I had the ability. I just had to wait for my chance."
The other free-agent rookies who survived the cut were cornerback Donte Dowers (Alcorn State), offensive tackle Spencer Folau (Idaho) and Scott Otis (Glenville), who will be the team's No. 3 quarterback.
NOTES: The Ravens had a 90-minute practice without pads at their Owings Mills complex yesterday. Running back Leroy Hoard (knee sprain), tight end Frank Hartley (knee) and linebackers Craig Powell (neck sprain) and P. J. Killian (hamstring) sat out. Killian is expected to practice today; the rest are day-to-day. . . . Roe missed the workout in order to have fluid drained from his bruised calf. . . . Receiver Floyd Turner practiced for the first time in four weeks yesterday, and could be in pads today. He hopes to play against Buffalo. . . . Marchibroda said he will stay with his preseason pattern by playing his starters for the first half against the Bills. . . . Center Steve Everitt has been fined $5,000 by the NFL for wearing a Cleveland Browns bandanna on the sidelines during the preseason game against the Giants 10 days ago.
The 18 players cut to reduce the Ravens' roster to 62 players (two others will have to be cut by 4 p.m. today):
Player .. .. .. .. ..Exp. .. .. ...Pos.
Marquin Bivins .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .OL
James Bowden .. .. ...R .. .. .. .. .WR
Mario Bradley .. .. ..R .. .. .. .. .CB
Dante DePaola .. .. ..R .. .. .. .. ..S
Chad Eaton .. .. .. ..1 .. .. .. .. .DL
Henry Fields .. .. ...R .. .. .. .. .RB
Mike Groh .. .. .. ...R .. .. .. .. .QB
Teddy Lawrence .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .CB
Chris MacInnis .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .PK
Larry McSeed .. .. ...R .. .. .. .. .LB
Orlando Parker .. .. .1 .. .. .. .. .WR
Pulu Poumele .. .. ...1 .. .. .. .. .OL
Ricky Powers .. .. ...1 .. .. .. .. .RB
Charles Randolph .. ..R .. .. .. .. .TE
Richard Thomas .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .FB
Deron Thorp .. .. ....R .. .. .. .. .OL
Michael Warren .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .TE
Larry Williams .. .. .R .. .. .. .. .DL
Pub Date: 8/20/96