His ban over, Searcy eager, not quite ready


He may face former team in first action as Raven

October 16, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Right tackle Leon Searcy says his sabbatical did not hinder his progress.

Searcy said it would have been a long shot for him to play Sunday at Cleveland even if he was able to practice with the team last week. Searcy served a one-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct code and was banned from the Ravens' training facility all week, though he said he worked out on his own.

He made his return yesterday and plans to get back to rehabilitating his left arm this week. Searcy tore his triceps early in training camp and was projected to miss the first six games.

"I'm getting back in the flow of things," Searcy said. "I'm going to take things gradual this week, get my fundamentals back. I'm scheduled to be ready to play sometime next week.

"I'm about 75-80 percent. I'm excited about it. It's healing properly."

Searcy was accused of kicking his wife, Sonya, in her leg during a dispute in their Orlando, Fla., home last May. The case did not go to trial.

There was talk before his suspension of Searcy returning for the Browns game. Ravens coach Brian Billick still did not rule him completely out.

"Leon Searcy will be on the field at practice," Billick said. "He wants to, and I'm going to have to keep myself in check here, but I doubt he is going to play this week unless he convinces me otherwise during the course of the week. It will probably be more prudent to get him on the field for the first time this week and possibly show up the following week."

That would be against Jacksonville, where Searcy spent the five previous seasons.

"I'm just excited about the opportunity of getting back, doing what I love to do," Searcy said.

Healthy outlook for Browns

Of all the banged-up Ravens, end Rob Burnett raises the most concern.

Burnett broke a bone in his left hand against Green Bay, but even that should not keep him from playing Sunday. Billick expects to have a relatively healthy team for the showdown against the Browns. The Ravens expect to have guard Edwin Mulitalo (knee) back after he missed the Green Bay game."[Burnett] is going to be in a cast," Billick said. "He's done that before. It's a little tender this week, we'll have to wait and see. Outside of that, we're probably in decent shape. Edwin Mulitalo should be back in practice. He felt like he was about 80-85 percent on Sunday, and I didn't want to push it. I wanted to give him that extra week to get back into it.

"Going into this stretch now, we're going to get [tight end] Todd Heap back, Leon Searcy, Mulitalo. Last week, Rob Burnett, Mike McCrary, Tony Siragusa did not practice other than Friday. To get that routine back, I feel very good about where we're at."

The luck of Lambeau

Strange things happen at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.

Especially to visiting teams.

"It never ceases to amaze me in Lambeau," said Billick, who had a number of experiences from his days with division rival Minnesota. "Did you notice in the second half when we had the ball, it was hailing and raining, and when they had the ball, it was like the Frank Capra movie? The sun was shining down on just [Brett Favre]."

Learning the hard way

Guard Bennie Anderson said he did not know the severity of quarterback Elvis Grbac's hit.

It was Anderson's man, Packers tackle Santana Dotson, who put the hit on Grbac giving him a Grade 1 concussion - the least severe - in the second quarter.

At the time, Anderson thought Grbac was fine. "Elvis is a tough guy, so you really don't know if he's hurt," Anderson said.

As for what he took from Dotson's swim move to beat him, Anderson said, "You learn to be better with your hands."

Why go for 2, Coach?

Billick explained his decision to go for a two-point conversion down 31-23 with 38 seconds left against the Packers.

Backup quarterback Randall Cunningham cut a 31-10 deficit to eight after leading two touchdown drives. Rather than kick the extra point on the final drive, which would have put the score at 31-24 if successful, the Ravens went for two, failing on a Cunningham incompletion.

"To put us in a position, when you're down that much, to try to come back and let the next score give you a chance," Billick said. "It was going to take two two-point conversions rather than the extra score. It was debatable."

Big man for big job

Defensive tackle Sam Adams will ask Baltimore business community leaders to adopt 15 city elementary schools with both financial and volunteer support at a Harbor Court luncheon today.

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