Lewis has outside chance Alexander's departure prompted move from slot

Ravens notebook

June 06, 1998|By Mike Preston and Gary Lambrecht | Mike Preston and Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Jermaine Lewis is moving to the outside receiving spot after spending two years in the slot. Lewis occasionally will play in the slot to draw mismatches, but he has spent most of this minicamp at wide receiver.

A former University of Maryland standout, he says there are two major adjustments.

"I think I can be productive both inside and outside," said Lewis, who caught 42 passes for 648 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also returned two punts for touchdowns.

"But I feel more comfortable working outside every day. The major difference is the release off the line of scrimmage. In the slot, the players are off you but outside they come up and play a little closer. Also, I think there will be better cornerbacks outside than the ones who play in the slot."

He's getting a chance outside with the departure during the off-season of veteran wide receiver Derrick Alexander.

Robinson out for year

Free-agent defensive end Kareem Robinson's rookie season ended before it began. Near the end of yesterday morning's practice, Robinson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Surgery has yet to be scheduled, although team trainer Bill Tessendorf said Robinson would begin rehabilitating the knee this weekend.

Simply dashing

The Ravens have improved their team speed dramatically since moving from Cleveland 2 1/2 years ago. Jermaine Lewis is the fastest Raven, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds. Rookies Duane Starks, a cornerback, and Pat Johnson, a receiver, have run the 40 in 4.38 and 4.39, respectively.

A little recess

As he has done all week, coach Ted Marchibroda excused most veterans from yesterday's afternoon practice. Players will return for three consecutive days of work, beginning Tuesday.

After the morning workout, a number of Ravens hurried out of the team's Owings Mills facility to BWI Airport. No one was in more of a rush than tight end Brian Kinchen, sprinting to catch a 1 p.m. flight to Louisiana.

"Sure, I'll make it [in time]. You haven't seen me drive," Kinchen said.

Kinchen, a 10-year veteran who is expected to back up Eric Green, had an up-and-down week of minicamp, during which he dropped a number of passes.

"That's just from not catching too many balls lately [in the off-season]," Kinchen said. "Some of those balls lacked a little zip, and some of it has to do with adjusting to the ball. But I'm not into making excuses. They [the drops] were my fault."

Real quiet

Yesterday's morning workout was quieter than usual, since third-year middle linebacker Ray Lewis, one of the team's more vocal players, was absent. Lewis is in Chicago this weekend to receive a John Mackey Award for being voted by NFL players as the AFC's best linebacker.

Charity golf event

The Ravens will help raise about $200,000 for the Special Olympics of Maryland and the Ravens' Foundation for Families at the first Ravens' Charity Golf Tournament on Monday at Grey-stone Golf Course.

Ravens players and coaches will play in the morning and afternoon. Morning players will include quarterback Jim Harbaugh, cornerback Rod Woodson and former running back Earnest Byner. Afternoon players will include defensive tackle Tony Siragusa, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and head coach Ted Marchibroda.

For information, call 410-887-1945.

Pub Date: 6/06/98

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