Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda, satisfied with the work and progress he has watched over the past four weeks, has decided to end the team's third training camp a day early.
The Ravens will finish their stay at Western Maryland College today after a 2: 40 p.m. practice, the last workout open to the public. Tomorrow, the Ravens will resume practicing at their Owings Mills facility.
"Our guys have been working well, and it's been a good training camp," Marchibroda said.
Running back Errict Rhett said, "It feels good. I'm sure all of the veterans are happy we made it through another camp. We got through without too many serious injuries. It will be nice to get done practice and go home to your own house and sleep in your own bed."
"Camp took a toll on me. It's nagging to wake up every day with a sore leg and try to practice," said fullback Roosevelt Potts, who has battled a sore knee for the past few weeks. He went through last week without practicing, before turning in a good half against the New York Jets in the second preseason game Saturday.
"I've taken some of the rust off, and I'm starting to have fun and feel good," Potts said.
Second-year outside linebacker Peter Boulware, who missed all of last year's camp in a contract holdout, said he feels like a different player after surviving his first long stay in Westminster -- monotonous, grinding, 15-hour days filled with meetings and practices.
"It ain't that enjoyable. You've got to push yourself every day to get through it," Boulware said. "Last year, I was learning on the run. I got a lot better this year, and, hopefully, I can carry that over into the season."
The Ravens face an unusual schedule next week. After playing host to Philadelphia on Monday in their third preseason game, they travel to close out the preseason against the New York Giants on Friday, Aug. 28.
Because of the short turnaround between games, Marchibroda said he would play his starters briefly against the Giants, after playing them for a half against the Eagles. The Giants game will allow players "on the bubble" to make their case before the team makes its final cuts to 53 players by Aug. 30.
Marchibroda said he has no problem playing that last game after only a three-day break. His eyes are trained on the regular season.
"We've got a short week ahead of us next week, but we'll also have an extra day to prepare for our first regular-season game [Sept. 6]," he said.
Potts shrugged off the short break.
"It doesn't matter. Football is football. When I feel good, I can play any time," Potts said. "If there's a game, and there's people [watching], and you're getting paid, get out there and play.
"When it comes to practice, that's a different thing. I wanted a little thunder and lightning [to interrupt practice] today."
Moore eyes opener
Veteran strong safety Stevon Moore, nursing a dislocated left shoulder he suffered last week, said he remains on target to play in the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh.
Moore already has shed his shoulder splint, and he spent part of yesterday's workout running on the side.
"I feel like I could be out there right now," Moore said. "I don't want to do too much [rehabilitation work] yet. There's no need to push the panic button. I'll be staying away from contact for a while.
"I'm going to do whatever I can do to help, with one [good] knee, two knees, one shoulder, two shoulders. Hey, the clock is ticking for me. I've always been a winner, and I'm tired of losing."
Marchibroda saluted Moore's work ethic.
"I know he will do everything he can to be ready. He's not afraid to push himself," Marchibroda said. "We need veterans like that. We need mentors. One of the differences in the ballclub this year is we've got mentors for the young players to look up to."
Line impresses Zeier
Quarterback Eric Zeier is enjoying practicing behind his second-team offensive line, a young group that struggled last year but has proved to have benefited from a year of experience.
The second-team line includes second-year player Spencer Folau, rookie Sammy Williams, and Alex Bernstein, a player entering his second year, and added experience with fifth-year player James Atkins.
The group has played well in the two preseason games, allow- ing Zeier plenty of time to spot receivers.
"They are head and shoulders above last year," Zeier said. "They have done an excellent job. They brought in a couple of new guys and the older guys are developing and really coming together as a group. It's very exciting when you've got a line like that that gives you a lot of time to throw and picks up blitzes well."
"They all have a year under their belts," Marchibroda said.
Wide receiver Jermaine Lewis (ankle), wide receiver Michael Jackson (shoulder), cornerback Rod Woodson (knee), defensive tackle Martin Chase (ankle), defensive tackle Larry Webster (hamstring), fullback Rob Robertson (knee) and offensive lineman Brandon Dyson (hamstring) did not practice. Cornerback Donny Brady (knee) continued to work in individual drills. The Ravens' Nov. 29 game against the Indianapolis Colts is sold out. About 500 tickets remain for the Nov. 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. About 1,000 are left for the Nov. 8 game against the Oakland Raiders.
Pub Date: 8/19/98