Burnett is life of party on defense Back from bronchitis, end helps shut down Bears

August 09, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

A week ago, Ravens defensive end Rob Burnett was lying on his back in misery, wondering when his battle with bronchitis would end.

Burnett, who missed five days of training camp with the illness, announced his return by making the Chicago Bears sick last night.

The entire Ravens defense had a party at the Bears' expense in the first half of the preseason-opening, 19-14 victory. In the first half, when the Ravens' regulars played, Chicago ran only 16 plays and managed 7 net yards, including a rushing yards total of zero.

Burnett certainly enjoyed himself by collecting two tackles and 1.5 sacks, the sacks a team high.

"Everyone felt good before the game. We were excited to get things going," Burnett said. "Today was one of those efforts where pretty much nothing went wrong. I hope we'll have a lot of days like this."

Burnett has said since the team's June minicamp that his surgically repaired knee had healed to the point where he felt fully healthy for the first time since tearing it up in October 1996.

Then came the onset of bronchitis during the first week of training camp.

"I don't get sick that often. I was worn down because I wasn't sleeping the first few days of camp, and my breathing wasn't right," Burnett said. "Our training camp doctor just told me to get some rest [with some antibiotics]. I'd knew I'd be out there tonight."

Burnett showed positive signs immediately last week by coming back with several strong practices soon after his illness subsided. He carried that over into last night.

With 4: 18 left in the first quarter, the Bears used some freakish luck to get deep into Ravens territory. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh's pass, intended for tight end Eric Green, bounced off umpire Bob Wagner's head and into the hands of Chicago cornerback Walt Harris for an interception at the Ravens' 31.

rTC No problem. Following a sack of quarterback Erik Kramer for a 6-yard loss on second down, Burnett and Boulware swooped in together to drop Kramer on third-and-15, forcing a Bears punt.

"I liked the way our defense responded when we were stuck deep in our own territory," Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said. "We thought Rob would play well, because he had fresh legs when he came back earlier this week."

Burnett capped off his excellent first half with another sack of Kramer in the second quarter.

"We had some guys go down in practice [defensive linemen Mike Frederick and Martin Chase] this week, so I kind of got force-fed back into action," Burnett said.

Ravens schedule

Preseason

Date Opponent, Time/Result, TV

8/8 Chicago, W 19-14

8/15 at N.Y. Jets, 5, 13

8/24 Philadelphia, 7:30, 13

8/28 at N.Y. Giants, 8, 13

Regular season

Date Opponent, Time, *TV

9/6 Pittsburgh, 1:01, 13

9/13 at N.Y. Jets, 1:01, 13

9/20 at Jacksonville, 4:15, 13

9/27 Cincinnati, 8:20, ESPN

10/4 Bye

10/11 Tennessee, 1:01, 13

10/18 at Pittsburgh, 1:01, 13

10/25 at Green Bay, 1:01, 13

11/1 Jacksonville, 1:01, 13

11/8 Oakland, 1:01, 13

11/15 at San Diego, 4:05, 13

11/22 at Cincinnati, 4:15, 13

11/29 Indianapolis, 1:01, 13

12/6 at Tennessee, 4:15, 13

12/13 Minnesota, 4:15, 45

12/20 at Chicago, 1:01, 13

12/27 Detroit, 1:01, 45

* -- Regular-season home games must be sold out 72 hours in advance to be televised.

Pub Date: 8/09/98

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