Zastudil eager to kick doubts

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Punter wants to show 4th-round pick well-spent

Boulware mulls contract

Pro Football

April 27, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Punter Dave Zastudil was fully prepared to go in the fourth round of last weekend's draft.

Zastudil said he expected one of a few other teams to select him if the Ravens had not. One of those teams may have been the Minnesota Vikings, who signed former Ravens punter Kyle Richardson shortly after Zastudil was selected in the fourth round as the 112th pick.

Wherever he went, Zastudil figured he would get his share of attention for being such a high pick at his position.

"Outsiders might think there is some pressure on me, but I just do my same ritual, same practice routine and everything I've always done that has led up to my success so far," Zastudil said. "I'm anxious to get started, in part to show that a fourth-round pick on me was a good choice."

With the holes at offensive line, defensive line and in the secondary, Zastudil's selection by the Ravens came as a surprise, even to him.

"I had a feeling it was going to cause a lot of questions because of all the salary cap people they lost," Zastudil said.

"I feel like I've got a good leg that is going to get them out of some holes. Field position is the name of the game, and I really think I can help this team."

Boulware plays, waits

Linebacker Peter Boulware says the idea of skipping minicamp crossed his mind.

Boulware is entering the final year of his contract, and talks on an extension have been tedious.

"It's been a thought, but I'm coming in good faith thinking it is going to get done, hopefully within the next few weeks," Boulware said.

Modell `loves' being back

Owner Art Modell returned to his familiar position yesterday - inside his cart on the football field, watching practice.

Modell suffered a mild heart attack April 16 and was hospitalized a few days.

"I can't tell you how thrilled I was to be here, or to be anywhere for that matter," Modell said. "To be here in a football atmosphere again, which has been my life for 42 years, I love it. I love the kids, and I like what I see so far.

"Physically, I'm much better than I have been in several years. I'm just very tired and have to get my strength back."

Line of stability

While many other positions have undergone turnover, the offensive line marched out four of its five starters from last season yesterday.

"We're the most veteran group of the whole team," guard Edwin Mulitalo said. "I feel real confident in our position. We still need to work out the right tackle position."

Jason Thomas, a second-year former guard out of Hampton, held down the spot yesterday,

"I came in last year and it was a pretty good situation, getting to sit behind Kipp [Vickers] and Sammie [Williams] and learn the system," Thomas said. "They have enough confidence in me so far, and I'm just going to try and not let them down."

A few pounds too many

Coach Brian Billick was not pleased with the new physique of running back Jason Brookins.

"He's not in as good of shape as he needs to be in," Billick said.

He did not guess how overweight Brookins is. "I couldn't tell you, but it's too much."

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