Ravens to watch

August 28, 1999|By Mike Preston

Running backs: Errict Rhett and Jay Graham are competing for the No. 2 position behind Priest Holmes. Coach Brian Billick will probably keep only one, but there is an outside chance he might keep both because Rhett plays well on special teams. Steve Broussard and Eric Metcalf are challenging for the role as the third-down back, and only one will likely make the team.

Offensive line: Everett Lindsay is making his second straight start at left guard for the often-injured James Atkins. Keep an eye on center Jeff Mitchell, who was responsible for two sacks last week, according to the coaching staff.

Receivers: The Ravens have eight on the roster and they would like to cut it to five or six for the regular season. Justin Armour, Billy Davis, Floyd Turner, Qadry Ismail and Webster Slaughter need to have big games, but positions seem set for Jermaine Lewis and Brandon Stokley. Patrick Johnson has to show that last week's big game against Atlanta wasn't a fluke.

Special teams: The battle for the place-kicking duties continues between Matt Stover and Scott Bentley. This one may be the most interesting of all the position competitions.

Secondary: Billick said he would like to see rookie cornerback and top draft pick Chris McAlister become more consistent. The Ravens also want to see veteran Rod Woodson pick up the pace at safety after moving from cornerback.

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