Demps ready to make debut vs. Broncos

Ravens notebook

Rookie safety practices with first team

whether he'll start is uncertain

Pro Football

September 24, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens strong safety Will Demps worked with the first team during part of yesterday's practice, further proof that the undrafted rookie will make his NFL debut on Monday night against the Denver Broncos.

Neither he nor the coaching staff, however, would confirm that Demps will start in place of Anthony Mitchell,

"I don't take anything from it," Demps said of practicing with the starters. "I think it was just to get back into the rotation."

Demps has recovered from a dislocated elbow he suffered in the final preseason game.

"I lost two games under my belt, so I'm working hard this week," Demps said. "The advantage of preseason is that I know what to expect out there. I know what we have to do on defense and special teams."

Regardless of who starts, the Ravens likely will rotate Demps and Mitchell, especially with Demps not yet ready for a full game. Ravens coach Brian Billick was noncommittal.

"We'll see," Billick said when asked if Demps will start. "He's got to get on the field and see what the fit is. He's a playmaker and that is what we saw before, and we are hoping to have that again obviously in the regular season."

Cook in, Byrdsong out

The Ravens signed offensive tackle Damion Cook to their active roster and released defensive back Shawn Byrdsong.

Cook originally signed with the Ravens as a rookie free agent in 2001 and was one of the final preseason cuts before being re-signed to the practice squad. The Chicago Bears signed Cook off the Ravens' practice squad to their active roster, where he spent the final 14 games of last season.

Ravens coaches were high on Cook last season and were disappointed when the Bears snatched him off the practice squad. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound former defensive tackle out of Bethune-Cookman eventually could push starting right tackle Ethan Brooks.

"I'm excited because I finally get a chance to showcase my talent," said Cook, who did not play in any games for the Bears. "I feel good about it, coming here to contribute and try to help this team get back to the playoffs.

"I know everybody from when I first got here. Nothing really is new to me; I just have to brush up on the plays. My intentions are to come up here and try and get some playing time, work my way up."

No loss for words

Jonathan Ogden's frustration with the offense was documented during the Ravens' 25-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Sept. 15, when the Pro Bowl offensive tackle wore a microphone for HBO's Inside the NFL.

Ogden expressed his displeasure to many of his fellow offensive players throughout the segment.

"I've always worked to try and keep myself in check, and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't," Ogden said. "I think that is with everybody."

End zone

Cornerback James Trapp (torn pectoral muscle) is expected to play in Monday night's game. Trapp, who could have played in the first two games but was inactive, likely will be the team's primary nickel back. ... The Ravens will practice today and be off tomorrow, a change from the normal work week. "We'll have a quick one [today] in shorts, and based on [yesterday], I think we will be ready to go Thursday," Billick said. ... Running back Jamal Lewis practiced yesterday after missing much of last week with bruised ribs. ... Dunbar's Ben Eaton is the Ravens' High School Coach of the Week.

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