J. Lewis finds overdrive works fine

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Back's 75-yard run sets team record

ankle injury knocks out center Flynn

October 07, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND - In the return from his second major knee surgery, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis has shown power, elusiveness and finally, after last night's game, explosiveness.

Lewis recorded the longest run in team history, a 75-yard scamper in the third quarter of the Ravens' 26-21 win over the Cleveland Browns and tied his career high with 187 rushing yards.

He showcased a gear previously unseen this year, shooting through a hole created largely by guard Bennie Anderson, outrunning the Browns' secondary before finally running out of gas and barely stepping out of bounds at Cleveland's 18.

"I don't think I'm back down to a 4.3 [in the 40-yard dash]," Lewis said. "I was trying to [score] there, but I just couldn't do it."

The run set up a 27-yard Matt Stover field goal that put the Ravens up 23-0 late in the third quarter.

Cleveland answered with its first touchdown after the field goal, but Lewis countered with a 26-yard run to the Ravens' 46 on the ensuing possession.

Lewis made his only major mistake of the night at the end of that drive, fumbling at the 1-yard line (linebacker Earl Holmes recovered).

"I was trying to go over the top, and instead of covering up with two hands, I left it in one and it got popped out. You cannot have that. After that, I was on the sideline trying to be a cheerleader."

While Lewis had been steady if not spectacular in his comeback, he showcased the full package back that led the Ravens offensively to their Super Bowl title of 2000.

"I think you see the speed and the bursts and everything about Jamal that we knew before," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "For him to come back from the injury the way that he has, anybody that has any doubts that he is back might remove that doubt tonight."

Center Flynn injured

Ravens center Mike F!ynn left in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Casey Rabach replaced Flynn.

Flynn, who did not return in the half, has not mlssM-Gd a game since becoming a starter at the beginning of the 2000 season. Rabach started the first two games at left guard before giv-ing way to Edwin Mulitalo.

X-rays on Flynn's ankle were negative

Bring in the noise

Browns coach Butch Davis asked his fans fcr more noise heading into last night's game. Davis told the Cleveland media that he hoped the fans would be in place by the start of the game, yell throughout and not miss half of the third quarter.

He got much of his wish, as the stands were about 90 percent full at kickoff. The Ravens were forced to call a timeout and hit with a false-start penalty on Heap during theft first offensive possession.

But with the Browns' offense largely ineffective the first half, the fans remained quiet outside of some scattered boos.

Tate gets comfortable

Kickoff returner Robert Tate had just two returns last night, averaging 13.0 yards.

Tate came close to scoring a touchdown in last week's win over the Denver Broncos on a 64-yard return.

"I'm feeling more comfortable," Tate said. "The more time with the other players, you get to learn what theft abilities are, how they are going to block theft man. That helps me out as a returner.

"My big thing heading into this week was I got to make the first guy miss. You can't let just one guy bring you down. Each week, I'm going to work hard and try and prepare myself to score.

"The main objective for myself is to try and get the most yardage I can to help the offense get into good field position."

It works both ways

Cleveland defensive coordinator Foge Fazlo and Billick coached on the same staff with the Minnesota Vikings.

Asked if the familiarity benefited Fazio in preparation, Billick said: "I doubt that. My familiarity with him works the other way."

Out of the spotlight

Billick was a realist concerning his team's chances of being featured nationally the rest of this season after back-to-back prime-time games.

"This will be our last time in the national spotlight for a while," Billick said, "unless they move one of the games to 4 p.m."

End zone

The Ravens' inactive players were Dameon Hunter, Sam Gash, Lamont Brightful, Bernardo Harris, Mike Collins, Jeff Ogden and Howard Green. ...Browns cornerback Anthony Henry started in place of Corey Fuller (hamstring). ...Browns fans hung a sign near one of the tunnels that read "Hall of Fame Voters Never Forget," with Ravens owner Art Modell's name circled with a cross through it. Model failed to make the final ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame during Super Bowl week in January.

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