Five who must produce

The Ravens

September 05, 2002|By BRENT JONES

RB Jamal Lewis

If Lewis stays healthy, the Ravens should at least be able to run, which will shorten games and allow the team to hang around until the fourth quarter. Lewis has shown flashes of his old self in two preseason games.

WR Travis Taylor

This is the year when the league will find out if Taylor is a player to be concerned with. Taylor probably needs a 1,000-yard receiving season and at least a half-dozen touchdown catches to silence his growing number of critics.

RT Edwin Mulitalo

He can't do much worse than the production level at the position last year. But the Ravens will need more because if Mulitalo falters in pass protection, quarterback Chris Redman will take a beating in his first year as a starter.

CB Gary Baxter

Possibly the biggest unknown on the team, Baxter is a starter, but nobody knows if he can cover on an NFL level. He missed most of the preseason with a hamstring injury, so the regular season will have to provide answers.

LB Ed Hartwell

Hartwell was the most impressive defensive player in the preseason, recording four sacks. His development could help offset the losses of Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams at defensive tackle by providing Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis with help in the heart of the defense.

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