Mitchell ready to hold class for Reed


Veteran will see duty as rookie safety's mentor once holdout concludes

August 01, 2002|By Brent Jones and Mary Beth Kozak | Brent Jones and Mary Beth Kozak,SUN STAFF

There is a good chance that once safety Ed Reed signs, he and Anthony Mitchell will have a thorough tutorial session.

Reed, the Ravens' first-round draft pick out of Miami whose holdout is up to seven days, has been slated to start next to Mitchell and form a young but athletic tandem.

"Every day is a key point to how we're going to play come game time," Mitchell said. "Each day [Reed] misses, he's going to be more and more behind, so I'm going to be even more vocal because they're going to throw him right in there with the mix. Because the stuff he misses, I have to make sure he catches up on.

"I'm getting used to playing with Chad Williams back there. But we'll be OK because I'm used to playing with [Reed] in minicamp, and I know how he plays."

Mitchell, who is starting for the first time in his three-year career, has been the vocal leader of the secondary, calling out many of the defensive sets in passing situations.

"I've got to take on the leadership because I'm the only veteran safety we have," Mitchell said.

"I'm taking on my role, and so far I'm having pretty good success with it."

Now he just needs to get work in with his slated partner.

"They need to play together," defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. "Right now, they are adjusting with Chad, and Chad has a great opportunity to get better and better."

Mulitalo adjusting

It has been a roller-coaster transition for right tackle Edwin Mulitalo, who played left guard all of last year.

After three days of live action, Mulitalo has not been beaten for a sack, but acknowledges that he has not been perfect, either.

"It's been up and down," said Mulitalo, who has been working on moving his feet, something he did not have to do as much before.

"[Yesterday] was an up day. [Tuesday] was a down day. But as long as I come out of camp having more up days than down, I think it will be all right."

Mulitalo realizes that a truer test will come later.

"I'm just curious and excited about the preseason, seeing the type of guys that are going to be there during the 16-game season," he said.

Anderson step ahead

Looking to expand on his success of last year, right guard Bennie Anderson dedicated the off-season to getting in top form.

"We did a lot of things that we didn't have a chance to do last year because he came in here really late and then he got thrown in the game really early," offensive line coach Jim Colletto said.

"He'll be a better player. He's more confident, and he knows what's going on now. He's held his own, and I think that he's going to get better every time he plays."

At last year's training camp, Anderson faced the pressure of making the cut. Now a starter, he has taken another approach.

"This year, I have more of a team concept than more of a personal focus," he said. "Of course, I have things that I want to accomplish and things I want to work on, but it's more focused on the team."

Zastudil gets message

Each day is a learning experience for punter Dave Zastudil, from whom much is expected, given his fourth-round draft status. Everything is about getting in rhythm and gaining consistency for the former standout from Ohio University.

"Things are starting to improve, so that's what training camp is for," said Zastudil.

Though inconsistency has hampered him at camp, Ravens coach Brian Billick seems optimistic.

"This week's been tough on him because we're stressing one thing: get the ball off," Billick said. "I don't care how deep it is. I don't care where it goes. Get the ball off. So far, he's grasping what we're trying to get done."

End zone

Ravens players and coaches attended the Ed Block Courage House fund-raiser for St. Vincent's home last night. ... Cornerback Reggie Waddell had the hit of the day on fullback Sean Gregory. ... Quarterback Chris Redman twice found receiver Travis Taylor during the two-minute drill, but the drive stalled inside the red zone.

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