C. Brown gets fresh start with Ravens

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Linebacker released in '01 will take field vs. Giants

Notebook

Ravens

August 29, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Linebacker Cornell Brown will take the field with the base defense tonight against the New York Giants and provide closure to one of the feel-good stories of the preseason.

Brown, whose last game was also against the Giants last preseason, signed with the Ravens a week ago and has looked good in practice.

"I'm looking forward to it," Brown said. "Besides practice, this is the first time I'll get some live action."

Brown missed all of last season after the Ravens released him days before the season opener and on the heels of his arrest and charge of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, charges that were later dropped.

He did not catch on with another team, and instead, went back to Virginia Tech and earned his degree. Brown signed this offseason with the Oakland Raiders but was released months later.

"For me, it's like a whole new start," Brown said. "I'm really excited about things. Sitting out last year, not being able to play, to be able to come back to a place that I've been playing and still know most of the people around, it's really exciting for me."

Brown, known as a run-stopper, could eventually rotate with Shannon Taylor and Adalius Thomas in the regular season.

"Cornell has a look in his eye of understanding the chance he has been given," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "This has the potential to be a great story or a typical tragedy.

"What a great story for a young man who had been in harm's way, had the gumption to go back and finish your education, take account for yourself and now gets another chance. Physically, athletically, there's no question that Cornell can help us."

Final analysis

The Ravens hope to get a final analysis of their return game.

They did not get much of a look last week as return man Lamont Brightful managed only one punt and kickoff return each in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Hopefully, we'll get more opportunities," Billick said. "The Eagles have a pretty good kicking game; [David] Akers is probably the best at kicking off in the NFL. So, hopefully, this game will transpire in terms of their kicking game where we have some opportunities to get some returns and see how these guys fare."

Brightful will have his share of competition from teammates. The Ravens will use Tellis Redmon, Javin Hunter and Robert Tate on kickoffs as well as Brightful. Brightful, Chris McAlister and Redmon will likely get a chance to return punts.

Taylor's workload

Chester Taylor is tied for the team lead with 23 carries this preseason, and his workload will not lessen tonight.

Taylor will likely replace starter Jamal Lewis in the second quarter and work into the second half. Taylor has 65 yards in two games after he missed the opener against the Detroit Lions with a leg injury.

"I'm just going to try and limit my mistakes and improve on last game," Taylor said. "The more I play, the more comfortable I get. I wish I had that extra game against Detroit, too."

End zone

Cornerback James Trapp (torn pectoral muscle) and end Tony Weaver (ankle) are the only players scheduled to miss tonight's game.

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