Chase sidelined by ankle injury Rookie out at least month

Ravens Notebook

second defensive lineman lost to team in two days

August 04, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston | Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF Contributing writer Ryan Basen provided information for this article.

The Ravens lost their second defensive lineman this week after learning yesterday that rookie tackle Martin Chase would miss an estimated four to six weeks with a severely sprained right ankle.

Chase, a fifth-round draft pick who suffered the injury Saturday, will be re-tested after about three weeks. The good news is a test on his sore knee from a previous injury revealed nothing serious.

On Sunday, the Ravens lost backup defensive end Mike Frederick for two weeks to a knee injury.

Zeier's atonement

It didn't take backup quarterback Eric Zeier long to make up for a bad day.

At yesterday's morning practice, Zeier looked sharp. During seven-on-seven drills, Zeier led receiver Ryan Yarborough perfectly with a deep pass down the middle of the field for a touchdown.

A bit later during team drills, Zeier teamed up twice with Stevie Anderson. First, Anderson leaped over cornerback John Williams to snare a completion along the right sideline. Then, Anderson ran by cornerback Rebert Mack down the left sideline, where he caught another well-thrown pass for another long gainer.

Zeier was happy to erase the mistakes he made on Sunday, when he tossed interceptions on back-to-back plays.

"That was the first time I've thrown two [interceptions] in a row like that. Good plays by the defense, bad reads by me," Zeier said. "Obviously, that's not the kind of thing you want on your mind when you go to sleep at night.

"I thought about it, but I didn't worry about it. You learn from things and you bounce back from them. I wanted to get out there today and make amends."

Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said he was more concerned about Zeier's health than his passing. He said Zeier injured his throwing hand slightly on Sunday after hitting offensive lineman Adam Hernandez's helmet.

"The important thing is there's nothing wrong with his hand," Marchibroda said. "We know what Eric can do."

McCrary nursing knee

The Ravens have the same confidence in right defensive end Michael McCrary, who has missed a number of practices while nursing his sore left knee.

McCrary's recent pattern has consisted of the following: Work out on an exercise bike in the morning, have lunch, suit up in the afternoon and give left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden all he can handle.

"It's up to Mike to decide how much he can do, because when he goes, he always goes all out," Marchibroda said. "I haven't quite figured him out yet. Mac is a little different, but it's a good kind of different. He's a good player with a real good motor. He puts everything into that one practice."

McCrary battled knee problems throughout last season, to the point where he had to stop lifting leg weights late in the year. He still missed only one game, finished second on the team with nine sacks and earned Pro Bowl alternate recognition.

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis marvels at McCrary's style.

"Mike is special. He's wild. He's crazy right here," said Lewis, pointing to his temple. "I don't understand his motor. He messes up a lot of his responsibilities, not because he doesn't know what to do or doesn't want to do it. That's just the way his game is. Watch the way he pushes linemen back and gets off blocks. I think sometimes he's too good for himself."

Herring 'progressing'

A year has made quite a difference in the career of second-year safety Kim Herring.

"I'm progressing," said Herring, who will start at weak safety. "More than anything else, I'm not making as many mistakes as last year. We'll see this Saturday. With Rod Woodson and Stevon Moore back there, we have guys who have a lot of experience. It makes things a lot easier. We're playing more man-to-man this season because last year he [Marchibroda] probably didn't want to put a lot of pressure on us.

"My goal this year is to get at least one B or B+ grade from The Sun's Monday report card. The secondary never gets higher than a C+. You can have five picks and we still get a C. That guy is a tough grader. I think we need a new teacher."

Heat tough on rookie

Rookie linebacker Ron Rogers has had a tough time adjusting to his first NFL training camp. The sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech was selected for his hustle and drive but his speed has melted in the Westminster sun.

"Camp is tougher metally than it is physically," he said. "It's hard to learn what to do, especially when you're not always sure where you're supposed to be. It will take a little while for me to get to the level where I can know the defense inside-out and be able to read plays like I did [in college]. It's one thing to know it in your head; it's another to do it on the field."

Rogers is competing for a spot on a deep linebacking corps and needs to prove his worth to the coaching staff. He believes the preseason will be a better indicator of his talent.

"I can't answer questions about my play until the first preseason game. I excel at full speed during games," Rogers said. "Whenever I get the shot I'll take advantage of it. I feel like I'll be a backup on this team and provide some depth.

Double duty for Folau

With right offensive tackle Orlando Brown slowed by an ankle injury, second-year player Spencer Folau has been playing both left guard and tackle. At times it has been confusing, but Folau has made strides, particularly at guard, where he is challenging starter Ben Cavil.

"On certain days I'm a guard, on certain days I'm a tackle," said Folau. "If Orlando were healthy, Ben and I would be switching every two plays. At first it was a little confusing, but I'm making progress through the repetitions. At guard, you need more power than playing left tackle because you have guys like Larry Webster and Tony Siragusa on the inside. At left tackle, it's more about finesse."

Pub Date: 8/04/98

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