Ravens: No-huddle will have no chance

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

McCrary, Woodson deny Jets-like ploy will help

no curfew for Ravens

Super Bowl Xxxv

Ravens Vs. Giants

January 23, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

TAMPA, Fla. - Everyone knows that it's difficult - some would say futile - for offenses to run inside against the Ravens.

So the search is on for alternate plans against a defense that set an NFL record for fewest points allowed. Yesterday, Michael Mc- Crary and Rod Woodson disparaged the most popular option, the strategy of going without a huddle and using a spread formation.

McCrary said that had been done before, and he remembered the last game of the regular season, when the New York Jets scored on successive possessions to take a 14-point lead.

"How many interceptions did the Jets throw?" McCrary said, pointing to the rest of the game, which ended in a 34-20 Ravens victory. Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde finished with three interceptions. Thus, McCrary's lukewarm endorsement of that tack for the New York Giants. "They can do that if they want to, but they're taking a chance."

Woodson said that the Jets weren't the only team to try it. "Everyone's tried the no-huddle to speed the game up, and maybe it worked for a drive," he said, though the teams he mentioned - Cleveland and Arizona - also failed to beat the Ravens.

Not tucking them in

The Ravens will have no curfew here until the night before the Super Bowl, coach Brian Billick said. And even on Saturday night, there will be no bed check.

Giants coach Jim Fassel gave his players a curfew time of 1:30 a.m. Sunday and yesterday, then 12:30 a.m. tonight through Friday night. The Giants have an 11 p.m. curfew Saturday.

Prime time for M. Lewis

Throughout the playoffs, the face of Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis has become a common sight on the CBS telecasts, usually accompanied with the prediction that he will become a head coach somewhere.

The dominating performances by the defense has paid off for Lewis, now a prime candidate for head coaching jobs in Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit. Yesterday, several of his players spoke up for him, including some from the other side of the ball.

"He definitely deserves a shot to run a team," offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden said. "You can joke with him, but you know he's about business."

Crash comedy course

Having conquered the AFC without the benefit of much offense, Billick felt emboldened to attack the arena of comedy, given the material from yesterday's collision between a team bus and a police cruiser on the way to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Asked about how the bus came to hit the car, Billick cracked, "It had a New York emblem on the side."

Wire services contributed to this article.

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