Amendment motion seen in Morris case But delays are expected in Texas probation hearing

Ravens notebook

November 25, 1997|By Mike Preston and Gary Lambrecht | Mike Preston and Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Rockwall County (Texas) District Attorney Ray Sumrow is expected to introduce a motion to amend the second-degree assault charges filed by a woman last week to two other conditions that Ravens running back Bam Morris allegedly violated under the terms of his probation.

Morris, 25, left Baltimore yesterday morning and will appear before District Court Judge Sue Pirtle at 1 p.m today. According to Keith Wheeler, Morris' attorney, the motion to amend will probably be presented today at the hearing.

As of late yesterday afternoon, nothing had been added to the two previous conditions, according to a court administrator in Pirtle's office.

"We haven't been served with a copy of the amendment, but we expect there will be one," said Wheeler. "The Texas code of criminal procedure states that once you are served, you have 10 days to prepare. I think with the holiday coming up, the logistics of the charges stemming from Maryland and the numerous interviews, it could be awhile before another hearing is scheduled."

Eight days ago, Morris was charged with second-degree assault on a Texas woman as the result of an incident Nov. 16 at a party for teammate Orlando Brown at Martin's West in Woodlawn. Today's court day was originally set for Morris to face charges of violating his probation by using alcohol and failing to report to his probation officer seven times between July 6, 1996, and August 1997.

The probation came after Morris pleaded guilty to marijuana possession after his arrest in March 1996 on Interstate 30 near Rockwall, where a police offer discovered nearly 6 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car.

Morris impresses Lavan

Running backs coach Al Lavan was especially impressed by Morris in Sunday's 16-13 loss to Arizona. After taking over early for the injured Jay Graham (ankle), Morris rushed for 88 yards on 20 carries (a 4.6-yard average) and had a team-high six catches for another 35.

"Bam played very well. He stepped it up and really made some tough yards," Lavan said. "Another thing I liked about Bam last week is he practiced well all week, he was attentive all week and he was encouraging to Jay. Bam was ready to play."

Lavan hinted that Graham got Morris' attention the week before by rushing 35 times for 154 yards in his first NFL start.

"Nothing motivates players like competition [for jobs]," Lavan said.

Jackson feels underused

Count wide receiver Michael Jackson among those not thrilled with the Ravens' commitment to an offense that now features the run and short passes -- the team gained only 4.6 yards a pass play Sunday.

Jackson, who has scored just one touchdown in the past eight games, has not caught more than three passes in a game since grabbing seven for 85 yards five weeks ago in a 24-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

"My game is not suffering," Jackson said. "It's just not being used. I feel like I'm as good as two people when I'm out there."

Jackson is tied for second on the team in both receptions (49) and receiving yards (670). Those figures are a long way from last year, when he caught 76 passes for 1,201 yards -- both career highs -- and tied for the NFL lead with 14 touchdown catches.

"Some may call [his attitude] selfish. I call it, I want to help the team win," Jackson added.

Herring's first concussion

Rookie safety Kim Herring had never suffered a concussion before Sunday's loss. Herring, who will make his first NFL start in Jacksonville on Sunday, took a shot to the side of the head while tackling Arizona punt returner Kevin Williams with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.

"I remember the game, but I don't remember from the time I got hurt to the time I was on the bench," Herring said.

He knew he was in trouble four plays later, after the Ravens had quickly forced a Cardinals punt. The Ravens were penalized for sending a 12-man punt-return unit onto the field.

"I was the 12th man," Herring said. "I'm not on the punt-return team. I thought we were kicking off. I didn't even realize I was out there."

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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