The Ravens have requested a one-day extension to possibly sell out the season opener against Jacksonville on Sunday at Memorial Stadium, which would result in the game being shown on local televsion.
The deadline for selling the remaining 3,100 tickets was supposed to be 4 p.m. today, but Ravens officials were waiting for an answer from league officials last night that could give them another 24 hours. The team sold out the previous eight games played here last season.
"I don't know what's going to happen. We'll see what happens today or tomorrow," Ravens owner Art Modell said. "I do know that we're playing games at the earliest time ever in the NFL and we shouldn't be playing a game in late August."
As of yesterday afternoon, eight of the 15 NFL games scheduled to be played this weekend were not sold out. They were the games hosted by the Ravens, Bengals, Oilers, Lions, Bills, Seahawks, Buccaneers and Dolphins.
McCrary tests knee
For the first time since he had arthroscopic surgery to repair damage to his left knee three weeks ago, Ravens right defensive end Michael McCrary practiced yesterday.
McCrary, who is listed as doubtful for Sunday's season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, worked lightly with the second team before swelling in the knee started to bother him. Mike Frederick, listed as the starter for Sunday, worked in McCrary's normal spot.
"It felt like my first day of training camp," McCrary said. "I've got some fluid building up, but it feels pretty good."
"I'm not used to going half-speed. I feel like a wimp. I wanted to let it loose, but I've got to be disciplined. I'm trying to push that fine line, going hard without hurting it. It's tricky. If I hurt it, I'm starting from square one again."
Coach Ted Marchibroda said he would make a game-time decision on McCrary's status.
"It's still too early to make a decision," Marchibroda said. "But at least he put the pads on and did some work." The thought of winning a home opener provides plenty of motivation for any player. For the Ravens, beating Jacksonville would be especially sweet, since the franchise is still looking for its first victory over Jacksonville after four unsuccessful tries.
A win on Sunday also would go a long way toward erasing the two excruciating, come-from-ahead defeats the Ravens endured at the hands of the Jaguars last year. The Ravens blew double-digit leads in the fourth quarter each time.
"We've got to win in the fourth quarter," offensive tackle Orlando Brown said. "None of this coming out there and playing well for three quarters, then having the offense not score and the defense not stop anybody the rest of the time. This is a big confidence game for us."
Said safety Stevon Moore: "This is a chance for us to redeem ourselves by playing for four quarters instead of 3 1/2 . We don't want to look past this game, but if we want to make the postseason or even have a chance to make the postseason, this is a good place to start."
Juices still flow
He is 66, with 33 years of NFL coaching behind him, yet the thought of beginning another season gives Marchibroda the same charge he felt three decades ago.
"Life gets exciting now," he said. "This is what we've been waiting for."
Marchibroda is as curious as he is excited, what with the new chemistry the Ravens have created. There are such rookies as Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper, Kim Herring and Jay Graham, and such new veterans as Tony Siragusa, McCrary, Rondell Jones and Leo Goeas.
"Unless you have a veteran football team that you've been with for a few years, I don't think you ever know what's going to take place," Marchibroda said.
Defensive tackle Larry Webster ordered about 100 tickets for the Jacksonville game. The contest will serve as a homecoming for the player, a native of Elkton and former standout at the University of Maryland.
Webster was supposed to have a coming-home party last season, but he was suspended for a year in the preseason. It's different this time around.
"This game is big, real big," said Webster, drafted in the third round by the Miami Dolphins in 1992. "I was out for about a year. I have about 100 tickets for aunts and uncles. I'm home, I have a big family and most of them live within two hours.
"A lot of them have watched me play in the preseason on TV, but it's going to be nice playing in front of them live and at the stadium."
In an effort to bolster their offensive line, the Ravens claimed 6-foot-3, 305-pound guard-center John Elmore off waivers from the Miami Dolphins yesterday. Elmore was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in 1996 then was signed to the Dolphins' practice squad last season.
Pub Date: 8/28/97