Williams rejects '95 comparisons Lineman says no letdown in cards with this team

Ravens notebook

November 12, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Before the 1996 season began, one of the questions most often asked about the Ravens revolved around their final two years in Cleveland. In 1994, the Browns went 11-5 and made the AFC playoffs. In 1995, with much of the same personnel, but the impending move to Baltimore hanging over their heads, they went 5-11.

Would the Ravens end up closer to 5-11 or 11-5 this year? Many observers figured the answer was somewhere in the middle. Now that the Ravens are 3-7, with games remaining against San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Houston, it appears that a 5-11 season might be their best hope.

Offensive lineman Wally Williams dismissed any comparisons between this year's Ravens and last year's Browns.

"This is nothing like last year. Last year is in a class of its own," said Williams, who has filled in for injured center Steve Everitt for the past three games. "Guys around here are still fighting and working hard. This is a real trying time, but guys are not going to lie down and say that's it for the season. We're still competitors."

Learning on the job

Two weeks ago, rookie linebacker Sedric Clark was on the New Orleans' Saints practice squad, and the thought of playing in his first NFL game anytime soon seemed like a fantasy.

Then, the Ravens, in search of depth at a position at which Mike Caldwell and Mike Croel had suffered knee injuries, signed Clark, originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Raiders out of Tulsa.

On Sunday, there was Clark on the field at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, playing in his first professional game. The Ravens used Clark in their dime packages, primarily as a lineman in their three-man pass rush up front.

Clark, 6 feet 2 and 245 pounds, recorded a solo tackle and a special-teams tackle in his first test. He spent much of the day battling Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli, the top player chosen in Jacksonville's inaugural draft last year.

Clark gave himself mixed reviews overall, adding that he is eager to take on Boselli again when the Jaguars come to Baltimore on Nov. 24.

"There was no time for looking up at the lights and being astonished," Clark said of his debut. "I don't think I did a good job of going 100 miles an hour. I stood up too much and allowed guys to get into me. I'm definitely taking my licks, but I've got to keep rolling with the punches."

As for Boselli, Clark said, "He was cheap-shotting me, hitting me in the throat, lots of dirty stuff. I'm waiting [for Nov. 24]. It's like you didn't do too well on the first test, and the teacher comes back and quizzes you again on the same stuff. I'll be prepared. And I'm sure he and I will share some words."

Goganious was 'home'

Outside linebacker Keith Goganious got his second start of the season against Jacksonville, replacing the injured Jerrol Williams (knee). Goganious contributed two tackles and two special-teams tackles against his old team. The Jaguars released Goganious after he recorded 132 tackles last year, second-highest on the team.

"It's a Catch-22. I think I did well, but we didn't win, and it all boils down to winning," said Goganious, who is not a huge fan of Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin. "You always want to do well when you play your old team. The guys [Jacksonville players] were speaking to me and I was speaking back. I was too busy worrying about my job out there to look for him [Coughlin]."

Injury update

Rookie Ray Lewis, the Ravens' starting middle linebacker, is listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of a sprained ankle.

Reserve safety Bennie Thompson had surgery on his thumb and a cast was placed on the hand yesterday as a result of an injury Sunday. Thompson is doubtful for 49ers, but he played last season with a similar injury.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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