As usual, Anderson assumes nothing


Three-year starter knows, `There are no guarantees'

Ravens Training Camp

July 31, 2004|By Brent Jones and Daniel Lyght | Brent Jones and Daniel Lyght,SUN STAFF

Every year, Ravens right guard Bennie Anderson maintains his goal is just to survive training camp.

And that means not simply enduring the heat and countless meetings, but actually making the final roster. "I'm still trying to make the team," said Anderson, a starter the past three years.

"This is the NFL. Everything changes from year to year. There are no guarantees around here, so you just take it the best you can. Unless you're a Hall of Fame [player], I don't think no one should feel like they are entrenched anywhere."

Anderson may have a point. While his place on the team is virtually secure, his position on the first team is tenuous.

The fourth-year veteran faces yet another challenge from Casey Rabach in what amounts to the only camp competition among the starters this year.

To prepare, Anderson has worked out locally the past few weeks, running hills and boxing. His goal is to improve on backside runs and play at a lower pad level.

As for his agility and ability to get beyond the line of scrimmage - areas in which Rabach appears to have an advantage - Anderson thinks the perception may be different than the reality.

"I'm not [Jonathan Ogden], but I get to the linebackers," Anderson said. "I'm not a technique guy, so it's not pretty, but I get my block."

Rabach said he has put on about six pounds, the last item on his agenda before heading to camp.

Anderson ran with the starters yesterday, but Rabach is expected to get his chance as early as today.

"They're giving me the opportunity," Rabach said.

Ogden strains back

Ogden missed practice yesterday with a minor back strain, so Ethan Brooks took his place with the starters.

"I'll be back Monday," Ogden said.

Reinforcing corner

The Ravens signed a pair of cornerbacks - Fred Weary, a seven-year NFL veteran, and Rashad Holman, who spent the past three years with the San Francisco 49ers.

They should help a secondary that remains without starter Chris McAlister and lost nickel back Dale Carter for the season Thursday with a blood clot in his lungs.

Weary played for the St. Louis Rams last year. He spent four years with the New Orleans Saints, who drafted him in the fourth round out of the University of Florida in 1998.

The Ravens also signed long-snapper Don Muhlbach and waived Mike Solwold.

Wright makes progress

Quarterback Anthony Wright is on schedule to return by mid-October. Wright had surgery on his throwing (right) arm during the offseason to repair a torn labrum.

"I'm actually a little bit ahead of schedule," he said. "The only thing I really have to work on right now is just building the strength back up in it."

Wright expects to be able to start lifting weights next month.

Baxter works on rust

Throughout the offseason, cornerback Gary Baxter watched his teammates drill. He watched them intercept passes, and he watched them bat down balls.

Baxter finally had the opportunity to do a little of the same yesterday as he returned from offseason hernia surgery.

"I was rusty, to tell you the truth," Baxter said. "I'm not gonna tell no stories. The main thing is to go in and start working - get my feet under me."

Moore last to sign

Rookie wide receiver Clarence Moore has the distinction of being the last draft pick to sign, agreeing to a three-year contract with the Ravens on Thursday. The deal ensured that all seven of the team's 2004 picks were under contract.

"It wasn't about whether I was going to sign or not, just when negotiations would be done," said Moore, who holds school records for most career touchdowns (28) and receiving yards (3,042) at Northern Arizona.

The 6-foot-6, 211-pound Moore attributes some of his success to his height.

"It's helped me tremendously," he said. "It's one of my greatest strengths."

Eye-opening start

Former Maryland offensive tackle Eric Dumas is seeing the difference between the pros and amateurs. The rookie is vying for a spot on the Ravens' roster after protecting the blind side of former Terps quarterback and current Green Bay Packer Scott McBrien for two years.

Dumas described his first day at training camp as a learning experience and a dream come true.

As far as his thoughts of making the opening-day roster: "I just want to come in every day ... and be in shape to continue. I think I accomplished that today," he said.

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