Kemoeatu's focus mostly in line

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Positioned to stop run, tackle is `fine with that'

Pro Football

September 28, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu approached the Ravens' coaching staff with a simple suggestion on how he could be a more effective player. He was quickly rebuffed.

"I told one of the coaches one time that maybe I should try and lose 20 pounds and rush off the edge," said the 6-foot-5, 312-pound Kemoeatu. "They said no. They brought me here to stop the run and clog up the middle.

"I'm fine with that. I like that position. That's what I did in college."

And that is the primary reason why the undrafted rookie out of Utah has a prominent role in the Ravens' defensive line rotation.

Kemoeatu only has four tackles, but his worth, much like with his predecessors, Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa, is measured in keeping offensive linemen off the linebackers.

Kemoeatu will have his hands full Monday night with an undersized but athletic Denver Broncos offensive line that specializes in shedding defensive linemen and blocking linebackers low.

"He's so enthusiastic, so big, so athletic. He's going to get schooled occasionally, and teams are going to take advantage of that," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "But with every time he does, he is going to get better and better, and I just think he's going to be a tremendous player."

Injury report

Receiver Brandon Stokley returned to practice yesterday and was optimistic he would be able to play against the Broncos.

Stokley sprained an ankle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and aggravated the injury at Monday's practice.

"It felt good," Stokley said yesterday. "It felt a lot better than I thought it would."

If Stokley does not play, rookie Ron Johnson would likely start in his place.

Meanwhile, backup fullback Sam Gash (hamstring) was added to the injury report. He sat out practice and said he was unsure he would be available Monday. "They don't want me to make it worse," he said. "We'll have to wait and see."

Lawsuit against Ravens

A jeweler has filed a lawsuit against the Ravens and ring maker Jostens Inc., contending they stole the design of the team's Super Bowl championship ring from the Texas-based company.

Filed in federal court in Texas, the suit claims the championship ring is based on a design submitted to team president David Modell early in 2001 by Canary Investments Inc., which was doing business as Diamond Cutters International, based in Houston.

The third amended complaint, filed last month in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, seeks damages in an unspecified amount, including past and future profits and loss of goodwill.

John Martin, the Dallas lawyer representing the Ravens, did not return a reporter's call for comment.

End zone

Broncos quarterback Brian Griese, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday in tripping over his dog, returned to practice yesterday in Denver. He is listed as probable against the Ravens. ... ABC's Monday Night Football halftime segment will feature Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. ... The Ravens will salute Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams and his national championship basketball team before pre-game introductions. ... Cornerback James Trapp (chest), tight end Terry Jones (hand) and running back Jamal Lewis (ribs) all practiced and should play.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Next for Ravens

Opponent:Denver Broncos

Site:Ravens Stadium

When:Monday, 9 p.m.

TV/Radio:Chs. 2, 7/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line:Broncos by 7

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