Marchibroda rips sluggish practice Rookie linebacker Lewis is AFC Player of Week

Ravens notebook

September 05, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda was highly upset with yesterday's practice and gave his team another tongue-lashing, the second in four days.

The Ravens play the Steelers, the defending AFC and Central Division champions, Sunday, and a win would put them two games up on Pittsburgh.

Marchibroda thought his team would come out to practice, the first hard one of the week after Sunday's opening victory over the Oakland Raiders, with intensity and emotion. Instead, he said, the Ravens were lifeless.

Midway through the two-hour practice, an angry, animated Marchibroda stopped the session and expressed his displeasure. Immediately after practice, he met for 10 minutes with his assistants.

"We didn't practice as well as I thought we would," said Marchibroda. "We just came off a tough football game, and now we have even a tougher game. With the kind of win that we had, I thought we would be more emotional and have a better attitude toward practice.

"Instead, we just practiced. That was it; we went through the motions."

The tempo picked up after Marchibroda's team meeting in the middle of the field. Marchibroda had to give his team similar motivation during Sunday's win, a surprising development since this is a veteran ballclub.

"We had some guys just hanging around, laughing while practice was going on," said left offensive tackle Tony Jones. "Evidently, they don't know what kind of team we're playing. This is a team ready to fight because they [the Steelers] have their backs to the wall."

Lewis Player of Week

Rookie linebacker Ray Lewis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording seven tackles, one interception and two passes defended against the Raiders.

In the second quarter, Lewis intercepted Raiders quarterback Billy Joe Hobert in the end zone. In the fourth quarter, with the Raiders at third-and-one on their 42, Lewis hit running back Harvey Williams behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a punt.

"I'm appreciative of the award," said Lewis. "You go out and win as a team, then you accept the things that come with it. I just want to stay humble, and keep it going."

No changes expected

Ozzie Newsome, the team's vice president of personnel, said he doesn't expect any roster changes before Sept. 22, the team's bye week.

Newsome said he has no meetings planned with free-agent tight ends Johnny Mitchell and Eric Green. Those negotiations have cooled, according to Newsome.

"Right now, we're going to remain status quo," said Newsome. "If anything happens, it won't be until after the Houston game."

Testaverde on his own

One reason quarterback Vinny Testaverde may be so successful in the no-huddle offense is that he gets to call his own plays.

"I've been in situations before where if the play is called for you, you're handcuffed to run it, even if you think it's not going to work," said Testaverde. "In the no-huddle, I don't feel trapped."

Battle of bulls

A key matchup Sunday has Ravens center Steve Everitt going against nemesis Joel Steed, the Steelers' nose guard.

"That's a real key matchup," said Jones. "Those two really get after it. Steve knows that if Steed gets the best of him, he stops us, and if Steve gets the best of him, our running game goes. It's that simple."

Sunday's game

Ravens (1-0) vs. Steelers (0-1)

Site: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh

Time: 1 p.m.

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

Line: Steelers by 4

Pub Date: 9/05/96

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