Graham back in running after first full workout Coach: Ankle's response will determine if he starts

Ravens notebook

November 22, 1997|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The Ravens were encouraged about running back Jay Graham, after watching the rookie go through a full practice yesterday for the first time all week.

Coach Ted Marchibroda, who said he would prefer to start Graham over Bam Morris against Arizona tomorrow, said his decision would depend largely on how Graham's sore left ankle feels at today's walk-through.

"It looks like [Graham] will play, but we'll be focusing on his ankle to see how it responds after today," Marchibroda said. "If it responds well, I think Jay would probably start."

Graham, who rushed for 154 yards on 35 carries in his first start last week, is listed as questionable for tomorrow's game.

Receiver Jermaine Lewis, also listed as questionable, practiced for the first time all week.

"Jermaine looked all right. He had a little shake to him, but we'll have to see how he looks on game day," said Marchibroda, after watching Lewis return kicks yesterday.

Moore to worry about

Cornerback Antonio Langham, who has played well lately, knows he is in for quite a challenge tomorrow. He'll spend a good portion of the day facing Arizona wide receiver Rob Moore, the eight-year veteran who leads the NFL with 1,048 yards.

"I faced [Moore] a couple of years ago when I was in Cleveland [and Moore was with the New York Jets]. I was still young, and [the Jets] had a game plan to come after me a lot," said Langham, a four-year veteran.

"Moore caught a touchdown on me. I had good coverage on him, and he made a diving, one-handed catch. He brought a lot to the field, and he taught me a few things."

Moore, who joined the Cardinals in 1995, has gone over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in three of his last four seasons. Over his eight-year career, he has accumulated 7,229 yards.

So far in 1997, Moore is ranked third in the NFC with 65 receptions, is averaging 16.1 yards per catch -- second in the conference -- and has caught four touchdown passes.

Snake in the grass

The Ravens are concerned about rookie Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer for several reasons. He has shown remarkable poise despite being behind an ineffective line, he has averaged nearly 15 yards per completion, and he has been extremely effective throwing on the run.

Look for Plummer to roll out often, away from the Ravens' solid pass rush.

"He [Plummer] has no problem with trying to squeeze [a pass] into a crowded area," Langham said. "You can't fault him for having confidence in his arm."

Added Marchibroda: "Plummer can beat you in the pocket, out of the pocket with his feet, or out of the pocket with his arm.

"It's hard to control guys like that."


Safeties Stevon Moore and Rondell Jones practiced lightly yesterday. Based on the teams' track records, tomorrow's game should be a sloppy affair. The Ravens have committed 29 turnovers, which ties them for fourth worst in the league. Arizona has turned the ball over 31 times, which ties them for second worst in the NFL.

Pub Date: 11/22/97

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