Ravens to watch

August 23, 1996|By Mike Preston

QB Vinny Testaverde: Testaverde has played well in the preseason, but he slipped a little last week with two turnovers that stopped drives. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds tonight.

QB Eric Zeier: The second-year player had his best preseason game last week against the Packers. Zeier showed poise and confidence by hanging in the pocket. If he keeps progressing, Ted Marchibroda might not be so hesitant to use him if Testaverde starts to falter.

P Greg Montgomery: Montgomery's performance was erratic a week ago when he punted seven times for a 32.3 average. Was it the rain or mud that hindered him?

RB Derrick Cullors: The rookie free agent from Murray State showed some promise a week ago by rushing four times for 31 yards and catching two passes for 11 yards. One important breakthrough for Cullors was that he started squaring his shoulders after getting past the line of scrimmage, a problem he had in practice.

RB Leroy Hoard: Hoard, who has been bothered by a sprained knee, has not had a good preseason except for the Giants game, when he rushed 12 times for 37 yards. The Ravens publicly say they are satisfied with their rushing attack, but the team keeps shopping for a big-play back.

WRs Calvin Williams, Michael Jackson, Derrick Alexander and Floyd Turner: This could be the first time all four might play in the same game. It's a promising group, but timing may be off with Testaverde since all four have been in and out of practice at different times for various reasons. Williams' status will be determined at game time. He still is slightly bothered by a knee ailment.

CB Donny Brady: Brady could start tonight if Issac Booth (strained quadriceps) isn't ready. A steady performance could earn him a starting berth in the season opener. Regardless, the Ravens still need help at right cornerback, and neither Brady nor Booth seems to be the answer at this time.

OLB Jerrol Williams: Williams had a slow start in training camp, but has made big plays as his physical condition improves. Williams has one more level to reach before returning to top form.

OT Orlando Brown: Any matchup involving the Bills' Bryce Paup, the NFL's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is worth watching. Brown had trouble blocking defensive end Reggie White last week. But then, who doesn't?

WRs James Roe and Jermaine Lewis: Both rookies have been inconsistent. One day they look like possible starting candidates, the next they look like they have no clue. Both need to step up. Roe is questionable with a calf injury.

WR Ray Ethridge: Ethridge had a good game last week, but Marchibroda is not sold on his consistency and intensity. If he has another solid game, Marchibroda may become a believer in Ethridge, who is as physically capable as any Ravens receiver.

Pub Date: 8/23/96


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