Report card

September 30, 1996

Running backs

Earnest Byner ran well, but he still needs to look outside faster after getting through the hole. Fullback Carwell Gardner ran hard as usual, and is the unsung hero in this offense.

A

Quarterback

Vinny Testaverde commited no turnovers and looked poised in the pocket. Coach Ted Marchibroda's comments about Jeff George last week served their purpose.

B+

Receivers

Testaverde finally got them the ball with some room to run. Hitch passes to Michael Jackson were a good idea. Calvin Williams and Floyd Turner actually do exist, and even though the Ravens don't want to admit it, tight end Brian Kinchen keeps coming up with big plays.

C+

Offensive line

This group gets its first A of the year. It pummeled the Saints up front and opened some huge holes. Testaverde was barely touched.

A

Defensive line

This group had no pass rush and got pushed around in the first half by a team that has had problems running the ball. But it's also a unit that has been hurt by injuries and plays with a lot of heart.

C

Linebackers

This unit needs someone to step up and make some big plays. Whatever happened to Craig Powell, the team's No. 1 draft pick last year?

C-

Secondary

The cornerbacks gave up some big plays again, but at least they came up and were aggressive at times. Antonio Langham played well in the second half, but this group needs to stop sleepwalking through the first half of games.

C

Special teams

Matt Stover missed two field-goal attempts, but they were under extreme situations. Punter Greg Montgomery was decent. Special teams ace Bennie Thompson gets high marks for the farewell dance he gave the Saints at midfield.

B+

Pub Date: 9/30/96

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