Report card

September 20, 1999|By Mike Preston

D -- Quarterbacks

Stoney Case was mediocre but he didn't get a lot of practice time last week. He moved the team and threw for a game-tying touchdown, but his arm strength, particularly on out patterns, is questionable. Scott Mitchell was inaccurate and hasn't been in sync for the first two games. His feet look very slow in the pocket. He brings the overall grade down.

C -- Receivers

Actually, they caught the ball when Mitchell and Case got it to them. Qadry Ismail turned in another strong effort, but Jermaine Lewis has to do a better job of getting away from the defense when chucked at the line of scrimmage when he is in the slot. Justin Armour doesn't have much speed, but every week he comes up with clutch receptions.

C -- Offensive line

The unit had a solid day run-blocking but needs to become more consistent in pass protection. It might have helped the unit and the entire offense if the Ravens had come out a little more balanced in the first 15 minutes of the game.

B -- Defensive line

The Ravens continued to get strong efforts from tackles Tony Siragusa, Larry Webster and Lional Dalton. They work down the line of scrimmage well. Defensive end Michael McCrary is rounding into shape, and he put a lot of pressure on Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart.

B -- Linebackers

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had some problems with the middle of the Steelers' offensive line early, but he wore them down in the second half. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper had a quiet seven tackles, and strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware had four, including one sack, on a part-time basis. Cornell Brown, subbing for Boulware, also performed well against the run.

C- -- Defensive backs

Cornerbacks DeRon Jenkins and Duane Starks were inconsistent, but at least the Ravens played more aggressively this week than last week against the Rams. Safety Rod Woodson and Jenkins should be ashamed for letting Richard Huntley outrun them to the corner on a 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

D -- Special teams

When will they learn? The units do a real nice job of springing Corey Harris on kickoff returns, but then give up big returns on their own kickoffs. Changes need to be made somewhere. Death, taxes and special teams blunders. Count on one or two every week.

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