Billick: No departure from Friday arrival plan

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Despite previous results, early trip `prudent thing'

Pro Football

January 10, 2001|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

The Ravens' past record won't change their current travel plans.

When the Ravens have arrived at road sites on Fridays instead of Saturdays, they have struggled with more than jet lag. But the Ravens will still hop on a plane for their AFC championship game in Oakland immediately after Friday's practice.

The Ravens traveled to Arizona on a Friday this season and escaped with a 13-7 victory over the lowly Cardinals. The previous early trip occurred in last season's finale in New England, where the Ravens lost to the Patriots, 20-3.

But the length of the cross-country trek to Oakland outweighs any sketchy history.

"I think it's the prudent thing to do," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We're going to use Saturday to rest.

"I'm not a superstitious guy. But I'm going to analyze what we do and see if there's a better way to do it."

PSINet open Sunday

The Ravens will open PSINet Stadium on Sunday to allow fans the chance to watch the AFC championship game on the large video boards.

Tickets for the first 5,000 fans will be $10, giving access to the club seats and the indoor club lounges. Any tickets beyond that will be sold for the lower-level seats and cost $5.

All proceeds will go to the Ravens Foundation for Families. Tickets are available through TicketMaster (410-481-SEAT) and on the Internet (www.ravenzone.net or www.ticketmaster.com). Parking in lots B and C is free.

Taylor a bystander

Despite the struggles of the passing game, Billick doesn't second-guess his decision to put rookie wide receiver Travis Taylor on injured reserve.

Taylor, the 10th pick overall in the draft, broke his clavicle in Game 9 and was projected to return to practice in the second-to-last week of the regular season. He finished as the team's fourth-leading receiver with 28 catches in only nine games.

"Although he's around, the thing I lament the most is that this would be a great learning environment for him to take into next year," Billick said. "He gets to watch it and see it, but it's not quite the same. That's probably the thing I regret for him as much as anything else."

End zone

The Ravens' divisional playoff victory over the Tennessee Titans produced record television ratings for the team. In Baltimore, the game drew a 35.1 rating and a 61 share. In the fourth quarter, those numbers jumped to 41.3 and 66. ... Tomorrow is the only day this week the Ravens are expected to practice at PSINet Stadium. ... The Ravens have won nine of their past 12 road games. Their last road loss was Oct. 15 at Washington. ... The visiting team has won two of the past three AFC championship games.

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