Bisciotti expecting playoff run


Tight end Heap day-to-day after bruising left knee

Pro Football

August 06, 2004|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

After the Ravens won the Super Bowl in Steve Bisciotti's first season as minority owner, it would be understandable if he were a little spoiled.

"That's why I thought it would be appropriate for us to win the Super Bowl this year," said Bisciotti, who is in his first season as the Ravens' principal owner, cracking a smile. "It would keep with tradition."

Joking aside, Bisciotti has an optimistic - yet not outlandish - outlook for a team that returns all but one starter from last season's AFC North division winner.

The Ravens, who will have an intrasquad scrimmage tonight at 6 at McDaniel College, have been predicted by most preseason publications to repeat atop the division.

"My expectations are the playoffs," Bisciotti said. "Once you get into the playoffs, you're one of 12 teams and one of those teams is going to win the Super Bowl. I think we have a chance to be one of the top teams for the foreseeable future."

Why is Bisciotti so confident about a continued run of success?

"With our management group and the leadership on that team starting with Ray Lewis, I think we will overachieve," Bisciotti said. "I've seen Ray in action intimately for the last four [years] and there is no one on that team that won't give 110 percent. That heart of a champion is something Ray possesses and instills in other people."

Scare for Heap

The Ravens dodged their first major injury of camp when Todd Heap came away with just a bruise on his left knee. The Pro Bowl tight end is considered day-to-day.

With about 20 minutes left in practice, Heap dropped to the ground hard after a diving defender clipped him from behind in a short-yardage, goal-line drill.

"It was a good thing that I was still driving hard and had a good knee bend, or else it would have gotten blown out," Heap said. "It's nothing serious, but it did give me a scare."

Morning practice closed

The Ravens have shifted today's morning practice to their new indoor facility in Owings Mills. It is closed to the public.

The field house is part of the soon-to-be-completed 200,000-square foot team headquarters, which will be ready in October. The Ravens are scheduled to relocate there during their bye week that month, moving only a few miles from their outdated facility that was previously used by the Colts in the early 1980s.

Backups in spotlight

Tonight's scrimmage at McDaniel College's Bair Stadium will be short on stars and long on evaluation of the backups.

Pro Bowl players such as Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis and Jonathan Ogden are scheduled to take part in four to six plays, leaving most of the two-hour exhibition to judge the rest of the team. Heap, inside linebacker Ed Hartwell (quadriceps) and cornerback Gary Baxter (hernia) are the only starters expected to be sidelined with injuries.

"This is pure how this guy does or how that guy does," coach Brian Billick said, "as opposed to drawing any conclusions from an offensive or defensive standpoint."

End zone

The Ravens have shown no interest in receiver Tim Brown, who was released Wednesday by Oakland. ... Team officials announced they have sold out every home game this season (including preseason) at 69,084-seat M&T Bank Stadium, the earliest they have done so in the Ravens' nine seasons. ... Billick said the consecutive days of hard hitting took a toll on his players yesterday. "The intensity wasn't quite what we're used to," Billick said. "It's understandable but I still don't accept it. Now, they have to get fresh for the scrimmage." ... Offensive consultant Jim Fassel will attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies Sunday to see John Elway's induction. Fassel has been regarded as a mentor to Elway, coaching him at Stanford and with the Denver Broncos.

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