Offensive line to butt heads with 49ers' feared foursome

Ravens notebook

November 15, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Gary Lambrecht contributed to this article.

The Ravens' offensive line, one of the best in pro football, will meet one of the best defensive lines in the NFL Sunday when the Ravens play San Francisco.

The 49ers start Bryant Young and Dana Stubblefield at the tackles, and Roy Barker and Chris Doleman at the ends.

San Francisco allows only 88.2 yards rushing per game. Barker and Young each have eight sacks. Doleman has five.

Meanwhile, the Ravens' offensive line has fueled an offense rated No. 3 in the league, second in passing offense.

"They are quick and have a lot of speed up front," said Ravens center Wally Williams. "They have a lot of Pro Bowlers.

"They don't have any weaknesses except for their size, and we have one of the larger offensive lines in the league. We're going to stick with the game plan we have used all year. We're not going to try to finesse anybody. We're going to be aggressive and try to mash 'em."

"Their offensive line is definitely of some concern," said 49ers coach George Seifert. "They are big, strong and a force. We have to be fresh and ready to play."

Weak safeties

The Ravens' coaching staff has said it's not happy with the performance of Pro Bowl-caliber safeties Stevon Moore and Eric Turner, but coach Ted Marchibroda says there may be a reason for their hesitant play.

"I think maybe it's because of two things," said Marchibroda. "Maybe they are busy thinking about will others do the job, and the second comes from our lack of a pass rush. You give a quarterback a lot of time and a chance to look around, and those safeties have to cover a lot of ground."

Brew impresses

One rookie who has caught Marchibroda's eye is cornerback Dorian Brew, who was signed by the Ravens nearly three weeks ago. Brew has shown good recovery time and physical ability.

Brew got some playing time in the team's dime package last week and should get more Sunday, possibly in the nickel defense.

"I think he is going to be all right," said Marchibroda. "He is quick, fast, has good instincts and every day he does something to catch your eye."

Brew's playing time may hinge on the return of starting cornerback Antonio Langham, who looked fluid in practice yesterday after missing last Sunday's game because of an injured hamstring.

Reserve safety Bennie Thompson (broken thumb) practiced yesterday with a cast.

Burnett update

Defensive end Rob Burnett is continuing his rehabilitation a week after having reconstructive surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.

Burnett, who hurt his knee during the Ravens' 26-21 loss to Indianapolis on Oct. 13, allowed his damaged medial collateral ligament to stabilize during the four weeks his ACL surgery was delayed. By delaying the surgery, trainer Bill Tessendorf said Burnett probably will cut down total rehab time by about a month.

Burnett, who should be ready for training camp next summer, said he should have worn different turf shoes in the Colts game.

"The thing is, every turf is different," he said. "The Astrodome is an outdoor turf in an indoor arena, and the turf in Indy is notoriously sticky. I should have known something was wrong when I tripped twice while I was walking around during warm-ups.

"But I'm not the second-guessing type. I've just got to accept this as another big challenge."

Next for Ravens

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

Site: 3Com Park, San Francisco

When: Sunday, 4 p.m.

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

Line: 49ers by 12

Pub Date: 11/15/96

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