Consecutive-games streak fits T. Jones to a T Left tackle has been a mainstay for team since 1989 season

Ravens Notebook

August 31, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

For Ravens offensive tackle Tony Jones, his consecutive games streak could not be continuing at a better time.

When Jones lines up at left tackle for the Ravens' first regular-season opener tomorrow at Memorial Stadium, it will mark his 100th straight, regular-season start.

Since Jones moved into the starting right guard spot for the Cleveland Browns for the final three games of the 1989 season, no player on the team has been more durable. In 1990, Jones started every game at right tackle. He moved to left tackle in 1991, and has remained a fixture there.

"It is coming at a good moment," Jones said about No. 100. "New team, new situation, first game, pretty good timing. Football is back in Baltimore. I don't even want to sleep right now. [Right tackle] Orlando Brown was saying he wishes we could play today, and I feel the same way."

A homecoming for Williams

Wide receiver Calvin Williams received a rousing ovation during the pre-game introductions -- only quarterback Vinny Testaverde's was as loud -- at the Ravens' preseason opener against Philadelphia on Aug. 3. Tomorrow, Williams, who said his strained hamstring has healed to the point that he expects to play, anticipates another wave of emotion when he is introduced.

Williams, who grew up in Baltimore and played at Dunbar High School before spending his first six NFL seasons in Philadelphia, figures at least 15 family members and friends will be on hand to see him play a regular-season game in Memorial Stadium for the first time.

"It gives me chills to come home and play," said Williams, who watched a number of Baltimore Colts games at Memorial Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s. "It really hasn't hit me yet, since I haven't been watching the news or listening to the radio and all of the media hype. By [today], things will start revving up. I never got a chance to play in Memorial Stadium. Now, I'm going to get the opportunity when the games really count."

Fans a factor

Ravens center Steve Everitt has played before his share of large, boisterous crowds. Judging by the Ravens' preseason, he thinks Baltimore fans rate high.

"I've played in front of two different types of home crowds. At Michigan, we played in front of 105,000 people, but half of them sat on their hands. In Cleveland, there were 80,000 nuts. This place is definitely comparable to Cleveland. Not as many, but just as loud. They are right on top of you, and they know what's going on."

Lewis stays relaxed

If Ravens rookie linebacker Ray Lewis was the least bit nervous about playing in his first, regular-season, NFL game, he wasn't showing it yesterday.

"The time to get serious is when I'm sitting in the locker room before the game, visualizing myself making the plays I'm going to make," Lewis said. "Right now, I'm relaxed. I'm just going to keep laughing and keep playing. I'm never worried.

"When I step on the field, I feel I'm invincible. When that ball is in the opponent's hands, he has offended me. That's the nasty mentality you need to make plays on the field, and you have to keep a smile while you're doing it."


NBC announcer Bob Trumpy, who has had a few uncomplimentary things to say about the Ravens recently, stopped by the team's Owings Mills complex yesterday to prepare for tomorrow's telecast. Trumpy, who declined to be interviewed, met with team owner Art Modell after practice. Said Modell, "All of my friends are welcome here. Everything is fine." . . . The Ravens deactivated tight end Frank Hartley for the opener, a day after he had arthroscopic knee surgery. Hartley is expected back in three to four weeks. The Ravens must deactivate three more players by 11: 30 a.m. tomorrow. . . . Two hundred tickets for the opener that have been returned by the Raiders will go on sale at 10 a.m. today. They can be purchased at Memorial Stadium or by calling (410) 481-SEAT. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

Ravens roll call

James Jones

Pos.: Defensive tackle

Height: 6-2

Weight: 290

Age: 26

College: Northern Iowa

Year: 6th

How acquired: Signed by Ravens on Aug. 25.

Highlights: Played for the Browns from 1991 through 1994. Started all 16 games and recorded 49 tackles for Broncos last season. Has 227 career total tackles and 14 1/2 sacks. Scored eight points, a TD on an interception and a safety, in 1992. First interception was returned 20 yards for a touchdown. Tied a Cleveland record with two fumble recoveries and four tackles in a game against Kansas City in 1991.

Personal: Started every game for Northern Iowa since the fourth game of his freshman season. Attended Central (Davenport, La.) High School, where he was a two-time All-Conference pick. Majored in science.

Eric Zeier

Pos.: Quarterback

Height: 6-0

Weight: 205

Age: 23

College: Georgia

Year: 2nd

How acquired: Selected by Cleveland, third round in 1995.

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