Frederick hurts knee, out for several weeks Washington or Ward could fill his place at end Mike Preston and Eduardo A. Encina

Ravens notebook

August 03, 1998|By Mike Preston Pub Date: 8/03/98 | Mike Preston Pub Date: 8/03/98,SUN STAFF

Ravens reserve defensive end Mike Frederick injured a knee in practice yesterday, and will be out for several weeks.

The 6-foot-5 and 280-pound Frederick, in his fourth season out of Virginia, went down during the run offense vs. run defense period. Frederick has been starting the last couple of days in place of Rob Burnett, who was out with bronchitis. Burnett practiced lightly yesterday.

Frederick suffered a second-degree medial collateral ligament sprain.

Frederick had played well in place of Burnett recently, drawing some praise from coach Ted Marchibroda and defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Marchibroda said the team may move Keith Washington from the other side to start in Frederick's place or move second-year player Chris Ward to the first unit.

Frederick had 10 tackles last year and played in all 16 games, starting one. He also played on several special teams.

Other players who did not practice yesterday were reserve safety Donny Brady (knee), offensive tackle Orlando Brown (foot), reserve safety Rondell Jones (knee) and defensive tackle Martin Chase (knee). Reserve guard-center Mike Flynn also had to leave practice early because of a dislocated finger.

Chase will have an MRI today.

Rhett back at work

No. 2 running back Errict Rhett was back at practice, but he wasn't his usual chattering self. Rhett has spent the past couple of days with his family in Florida after his brother was involved in an automobile accident.

Rhett is challenging second-year player Jay Graham for the starting job. There is a possibility Rhett could return to Florida if his brother's condition worsens. He is currently in serious condition, according to Rhett.

"Practice was kind of slow in the beginning, but we picked it up midway through," Rhett said. "I felt real good out there. I don't know when I'll go back, it depends on what happens with my brother. His condition is not good now, but he is a strong person and will come along. I think he'll be OK."

Competition on line

The left guard spot is still openand offensive line coach Kirk Ferentz likes the competition. Second-year player Ben Cavil has been working with the starting unit, but second-year player Spencer Folau and five-year veteran James Atkins have both progressed well.

When starting center Wally Williams reports to camp, present center Jeff Mitchell might also get some work at guard.

"We'll have to see how things are going," Ferentz said. "The whole group is working real hard right now and, compared to a year ago, we have a couple of legitimate candidates. The preseason games will give us a better evaluation."

Marchibroda said he has been impressed with rookie offensive tackle Sammy Williams, the team's sixth-round pick out of Oklahoma.

"He has good feel, is an intelligent kid and has a good physique for a tackle," said Marchibroda of Williams, who looks much trimmer now than he did months ago in minicamp.

Burnett catches breath

Burnett practiced for the first time since Wednesday, because he had one of the most interesting injuries in camp.

Burnett was bedridden with bronchitis since earlier in the week. Yesterday, during the afternoon session, he looked a little slow and did not participate in all linemen drills.

"It just hit me," Burnett said. "Today I just came out and did a little bit of this and a little of that, but it's going to be a gradual process getting back. The main thing will be getting my breathing pattern down."

Wright settles in

Linebacker Sylvester Wright completed his fourth practice yesterday after being signed as a free agent Friday, and he said he is getting comfortable with the Ravens' defensive system, one similar to that of the Eagles, whom he played with during 1995 and '96.

"It's pretty much the same stuff I was doing before, just with different names to plays," Wright said. "Everything else is falling in place."

Wright, 26, who has been practicing with the second team at linebacker, said he has benefitted the most from watching the first-team linebacker trio of Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware and Jamie Sharper run drills.

"When I am on the sideline, I just sit back and watch them," Wright said. "I see if I can pick up little things. They know the system and they are very high-caliber players as well."

Stover on rebound

Kicker Matt Stover has looked impressive in camp and is looking to rebound from a tough end to last season when he missed hislast five field-goal attempts after going 26-for-29 before that.

Stover said that during the off-season he increased his sit-up count and running and he did several exercises that helped him work out muscles that will help his quickness off the snap. Two of the five missed attempts were blocked last season.

"The older you get, the more you have to work those muscles, so they stay durable and fast," Stover, 30, said.

During camp, Stover has been concentrating on getting his timing down.

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