Porter plans to show that he's older, wiser

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Cornerback eager to atone for last preseason's play

Pro Football

August 09, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The last time cornerback Alvin Porter started a preseason game, he faced a furious attack immediately.

Porter started the preseason finale a year ago against the New York Giants in place of Duane Starks, and three passes were completed on his side during the opening drive. Porter, who likely will start tonight's preseason opener against the Detroit Lions at Ravens Stadium in place of Gary Baxter, invites a repeat scenario.

"It's not like I'm a rookie. I'm pretty confident about how I'm going to play in the game," said Porter, who is in his second year out of Oklahoma State. "If they treat me like a rookie or as a second-year guy, I'm going to do some things. I'm going to go after the ball and take care of my business."

Baxter strained his hamstring in practice earlier this week and is expected to return possibly next week. James Trapp ordinarily would take Baxter's spot, but Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said the team is being cautious with Trapp, who missed last week's scrimmage because of a hurt knee.

"If we didn't have Gary, James would be the corner," Nolan said. "I feel very confident in that. The issue now is that James has got a knee that's bothering him a bit. But James would certainly be the next guy."

Trapp is expected to play in his normal spot, nickel back.

As for Porter, a solid performance tonight could help produce more playing time during the season. Porter is battling Reggie Waddell to be the team's fourth cornerback.

"I'll play wherever they want me," Porter said. "I'm thrilled to be on this level. I'll accept my role wherever it may be, whether it is a backup on defense or all special teams."

Talks with Adams

The Ravens are continuing to negotiate with defensive tackle Sam Adams. Although no signing is imminent, the Ravens remain the odds-on favorite to retain the two-time Pro Bowl performer. A deal could happen as soon as next week, but there's a possibility that Adams won't sign with the team until the most physically demanding part of training camp is nearly over.

Local hopeful

When the Ravens waived offensive tackle Lance Clelland this week, former Morgan State standout Marc Lester became the lone local rookie hopeful.

"Marc is giving us more than we expected," receivers coach David Shaw said. "He's quick, aggressive, has great hands."

Lester left Morgan State as the school's all-time reception leader with 138 catches and in the top five for career receiving yards with 2,065.

"To be here at home, right up the road from Morgan State, it's an honor and privilege to be out here working with these guys," Lester said. "I'm just out here working hard and having fun."

End zone

The Ravens signed third-year defensive tackle Ben Williams, 32, yesterday morning. Released by the Dallas Cowboys last preseason, he is expected to see limited action in tonight's game. ... End Michael McCrary (knee), linebacker Peter Boulware (ankle), Baxter (hamstring), end Tony Weaver (ankle) and linebacker Andre Arnold (knee) did not practice and will not play tonight. Cornerback Jason Olford returned to practice. ... The Ravens worked on special teams trick plays for about 10 minutes, including punter Dave Zastudil throwing deep downfield from punt formation. Zastudil is a former quarterback. ... Former Raven Corey Harris will start at strong safety for the Lions.

Sun staff writers Jamison Hensley and Mary Beth Kozak contributed to this article.

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