Colts' history here lost on most players

Many Ravens too young to identify with city's beloved, long-lost team

Ravens notebook

Pro Football

October 12, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Tight end Todd Heap and defensive end Tony Weaver were born in 1980. Free safety Will Demps and several other Ravens starters were born a year earlier, and any resentment over the fact that the Colts left Baltimore after the 1983 season, moving to Indianapolis, is lost on them.

"For me, the Colts have always been in Indianapolis," Weaver said.

"Them being here once, it doesn't matter much to me. I'd love to go beat them and get another win, but as far as a rivalry because they once played here, it isn't there for the players."

Weaver was born in Texas and went to high school in upstate New York before playing at Notre Dame, where he was more interested in the Bears than the Colts, but not as much as in his favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Demps, who matured in Southern California and followed the 49ers, said the passage of time made last week's game in Cleveland more of a grudge match.

"The Browns realize how we [the Ravens] used to be there," Demps said.

Coach Brian Billick appreciates the youth of his team more than anyone, and agrees that the Colts' history is irrelevant in this year's locker room.

Working on a rug

The Ravens worked out on artificial turf yesterday, as the grass field at their Owings Mills facility remained under a tarp. The franchise is still two years away from a move to a new complex that will include an under-cover facility, but Billick downplayed the effects of practicing in a steady rain.

"It's good," Billick said. "It forces them to focus a little bit more through the elements and concentrate."

End zone

Fullback Alan Ricard (thigh) was still listed as questionable on the injury report, but he practiced without incident. Linebacker J.R. Johnson (thigh) and defensive back Chad Williams remained questionable and probable, respectively. ... The Colts avoided a television blackout in Indianapolis when a local educational partnership purchased 1,800 tickets Thursday and donated them to charity. ... Elvis Grbac, the quarterback who retired after one unfulfilling season in Baltimore, told that he would consider returning to the NFL, but only for the Cleveland Browns, who are injury-riddled at the position after Sunday night's loss to the Ravens.

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