AFC taps Harris for weekly honor

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Safety's job vs. Broncos earns conference award as top defensive player

Pro Football

October 04, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens safety Corey Harris was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the team's 20-13 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday.

Harris had seven solo tackles, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble and an interception that sealed the win late in the fourth quarter. He is the first Raven this season to win a Player of the Week award, and it is the first of his 10-year career.

"I felt like it was one of those games where [defensive coordinator] Marvin Lewis put me in position to make plays, and I made them," Harris said.

"But if you look at the game, our defense was relentless. Everybody had chances to make plays, and 90 percent of the time, when guys had chances to make plays, they did. For me, it's just that I had more opportunities than a lot of guys."

Harris is the only starter this season who was not a starter on last year's record-setting defense. And he was the one question mark on the unit heading into the season because he missed a good portion of training camp because of his wife's illness.

But in the first three games, he has been one of the defense's most consistent players. He is second on the team with 28 tackles, trailing just Ray Lewis' 35.

Harris is playing well despite flying to Nashville after games on Sundays to be with his wife, then returning to Baltimore each Tuesday.

Nod from E. Williams

Erik Williams likes coach Brian Billick's guard-tackle rotation.

"I'm still getting in shape," said Williams, in his 10th season. "The rotation helps. It's not playing all at once. I got a culture shock that Cincinnati game [he was in for 66 snaps]. I didn't think I would be playing that much, and that was a shock to my body."

Williams works on the offense alongside Kipp Vickers in one set, while Sammy Williams and rookie guard Bennie Anderson form another combination. Sammy Williams and Anderson started against Denver, but were replaced in the first quarter.

The linemen rotated in and out during the game. As for whether the rotation will continue against the Titans, Billick said, "We'll roll that through similar to what we've done before."

Heap still hurting

Tight end Todd Heap missed practice again yesterday, still recovering from a high-ankle sprain.

"It just takes awhile," Billick said.

Heap did not play against the Broncos and is questionable for Sunday's game. John Jones finished with two catches for 13 yards in Heap's place, working out of the Ravens' two-tight-end set.

"I didn't have any mental errors, and that's always good," Jones said.

If fact, the only mistake Jones made was when he slipped after making one too many moves on a fourth-quarter pass from Elvis Grbac for no yards.

Sharpe on verge

Needing just 20 yards to pass Ozzie Newsome as the all-time NFL leader in receiving yards for a tight end, Shannon Sharpe realizes that the record is virtually his and likely will become official Sunday.

"It's completely out of [Newsome's] hands now," said Sharpe, who has 7,961 receiving yards. "He's done everything he could for 13 years to put himself in that position. I realize that.

"I realize that after I get the record, someone along the line is going to come along and break my record. But it's going to be nice to have. It just goes to show the hard work over the years that I've put in, and the greatness I've been around to help me accomplish what I've accomplished."

End zone

The Ravens signed defensive back Delvin Hughley to the practice squad in place of offensive tackle Damion Cook, whom the Chicago Bears signed to their active roster. ... Besides Heap, end Michael McCrary (knee) and end Rob Burnett (knee) missed practice. All are listed as questionable for Sunday, along with fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo (knee).

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