Douglas appreciates being wanted


Defensive end filling in as McCrary recuperates

August 13, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

For the first in his professional career, defensive end Marques Douglas feels he has security.

Douglas, who came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Howard in 1999, has played every snap with the starters in training camp thus far in place of Michael McCrary.

Even when McCrary returns, the Ravens are counting on Douglas to be the top backup to both end positions and he could wind up playing as much as the starters.

Douglas, who in previous years was fighting just to make the squad, has benefited as much as any player from the Ravens' losses on the defensive line.

"This is my first year in four years where I've come to training camp knowing that I have a place here, I have a home," Douglas said. "It has allowed me to study my game book and not worry about anything else. This is the NFL, and they are always looking for better talent. But I just feel like people have faith in me and I can settle down and play to the best of my abilities."

Douglas spent most of his first season with the Ravens on the practice squad and has played in just three games since. Last year this time, Douglas was in New Orleans, where he spent the first 11 weeks on the Saints' practice squad before the Ravens re-signed him.

Meanwhile, end Tony Weaver will not return to practice until next week at the earliest because of a high ankle sprain he suffered last Tuesday. High ankle sprains can be tricky, and if Weaver is unable to practice and get into at least one preseason game, the Ravens may choose to move Douglas to the left side.

"I know when Mac comes back, it is his spot, but there is another void on the left side," Douglas said. "So I just want to show the coaches, my teammates that I can play. I can do the things I do in practice and transform that on the field. Hopefully in that opening game in Carolina, I can display those talents."

Linebacker switch

Friday night's preseason game was linebacker Bart Scott's first and probably last chance to play middle linebacker. The Ravens have moved Scott to the outside to make way for veteran inside linebacker Bernardo Harris.

Scott led the Ravens with seven tackles against the Detroit Lions and had a sack from his inside position. But Scott has practiced the past two days from the outside and will play there Thursday night against the New York Jets.

"I played something similar to that in college in certain situations, so it wasn't that big of a jump for me," said Scott, who has been one of the best undrafted rookies in camp. "The only thing is trying to get everything down in a three-day process. I played in the middle in the game, but obviously, strong side is going to be my permanent position. I have to learn on the go. I have a lot of catching up to do."

Demps catching up

While most eyes are on safeties Ed Reed and Chad Williams, Will Demps continues to excel in practice.

Running with the third team, Demps intercepted yet another pass yesterday, three days after his game-winning interception return for a touchdown against the Lions. An undrafted rookie out of San Diego State, Demps is making a strong bid to make the team.

"For me, I'm kind of used to that, being the overlooked guy," said Demps, who easily has the most interceptions of any player in camp. "So it's kind of exciting for me for people to be like, `Who is that guy?' I just have to work hard, make plays and help the team as much as I can."

Et cetera

The Ravens signed safety Jeremy Unertl and waived receiver Kendrick Gibson. Unertl, an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin-La Crosse, originally signed with the Green Bay Packers. ... Linebacker Andre Arnold had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will be out four to six weeks.

Next for Ravens

Preseason opponent:New York Jets

Site:Ravens Stadium

When:Thursday, 8 p.m.

TV/Radio:Comcast SportsNet, Ch. 45/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line:Jets by 1

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