Training camp battles

June 12, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht

Sale Isaia vs. Ben Cavil (LG): The only unsettled starting spot on the offensive line. Cavil has the edge in experience. Isaia is 11 months removed from a knee injury that ended his 1997 season on the first day of training camp. This should be a good battle.

Duane Starks vs. DeRon Jenkins (RCB): It's up to Jenkins to produce in his third season. Starks is a rookie, but as the Ravens' top draft pick, he will apply plenty of pressure.

Ralph Staten vs. Stevon Moore (SS): The job is Moore's to lose, which could happen if his surgically repaired knees fail to respond this summer. Staten showed promise late in his rookie year in 1997.

Jay Graham vs. Errict Rhett (RB): Graham, entering his second year, has recovered from the severe ankle injury that ended his rookie season prematurely. Rhett, barely used in Tampa Bay during the last two seasons, is young, rested, and only three years removed from his second 1,000-yard season.

James Roe vs. Ryan Yarborough (WR): Unless the Ravens land a veteran free agent to fill the No. 3 receiver position, the path seems clear for Roe to continue the progress he made in 1997.

A. J. Ofodile vs. Cam Quayle (TE): The No. 3 tight end position could end up in the impressive hands of Quayle, the last pick of the draft. Ofodile, a two-year veteran, has progressed slower than the Ravens had hoped.

Greg Montgomery vs. Kyle Richardson (P): Montgomery is coming off a troubling season, which pushed the Ravens to bring some punting competition to camp this year. Montgomery also sprained a toe on his kicking foot on Tuesday in a freak accident. During the filming of a Ravens commercial, he kicked a video camera. Not a good sign.

Notable players on bubble

Rondell Jones (S): An injury-filled 1997 season held him back, and the development of Kim Herring along with the presence of Donny Brady and rookie draft pick Ryan Sutter could push Jones out the door.

Montgomery (P): He needs to get back closer to his Pro Bowl form.

Priest Holmes (RB): The Ravens weren't thrilled with his work on special teams last year. Improvement in that area increases his chances of sticking around.

Donny Brady (CB/S): Too slow to be a corner and doesn't have enough ball awareness to start at safety. He has to make squad as a special teams player.

Yarborough (WR): Had the Ravens been blessed with more jTC salary cap room last year, Yarborough might have been gone by midseason after dropping too many passes.

Mike Frederick (DE): The future is now for Frederick, who enters his fourth NFL season still looking to make his mark.

Pub Date: 6/12/98

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