Report card

October 11, 1999|By Mike Preston

Quarterback

D

This could have been Stoney Case's time to shine. Instead, he was inconsistent and didn't step up his game in the second half. A few of his passes were dropped, but the quarterback of the future has to perform better than he did yesterday for the Ravens to be successful.

Running backs

C+

Running back Errict Rhett ran hard and briefly knocked safeties Blaine Bishop and Marcus Robertson out of the game in the second quarter with vicious hits. Fullback Chuck Evans also performed well as a receiver and a lead blocker, but the Ravens don't have a passing game to complement their rushing attack.

Receivers

C

The Ravens always get a quality effort from receiver Qadry Ismail, but it was a huge mistake when he didn't get out of bounds at the end of the game. Jermaine Lewis was finally involved in the offense and had four catches for 58 yards. Patrick Johnson was his usual self. Catch one, drop one.

Offensive line

C

This group was hit hard by injuries and had several players playing out of position. Center Jeff Mitchell allowed too much penetration on several running plays, but the team got strong efforts from two reserves, offensive tackle Spencer Folau and guard Mike Flynn, who were again thrust into starting roles. But like the rest of the offense, this group needs a passing attack to be successful.

Defensive line

B

The tackles gave a little ground at times, but the unit didn't wear down under the pressure of running back Eddie George. The Ravens got solid play from ends Michael McCrary and Rob Burnett, but McCrary has to cut down on those unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Tackle Tony Siragusa held up well for a player who had been out three weeks rehabbing a knee injury.

Linebackers

B+

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had a game-high 13 tackles and even earned a safety for the team late in the third quarter. Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware didn't have a sack, but he drew a lot of double teams. Weak-side linebacker Jamie Sharper turned in another consistent effort. This group also is making progress in its pass coverage.

Defensive backs

C

This may have been one of Rod Woodson's best games at free safety. The Ravens didn't give up many big plays but were bothered by Tennessee's short passing attack. Cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Duane Starks both had solid efforts, but DeRon Jenkins had his problems. Again.

Special teams

C

Ace Bennie Thompson had one penalty and almost ran into Jermaine Lewis during a punt return. Kyle Richardson had a 46.8-yard punting average. Matt Stover converted on three of three field-goals attempts, but he still needs to get more distance on his kickoffs. The Ravens also have to slow the other team's outside players, or "gunners," on punt returns.

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