K. Johnson receives attention from Boller


Wide-out has 3 catches, calls it `a positive step'


August 29, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

With receiver Travis Taylor and tight end Todd Heap sidelined, Kevin Johnson found himself the object of quarterback Kyle Boller's attention in the Ravens' 17-6 win over the Detroit Lions last night at M&T Bank Stadium.

Boller threw to Johnson six times in the first half, completing three of the passes for 40 yards. Two of the completions converted first downs, the latter coming on a perfectly run pattern to the marker on the sideline in the second quarter.

In addition to the six passes, two others were sent Johnson's way, but they were wiped out by penalties.

Johnson also exploited the Lions' zone for a 26-yard gain in the first quarter, a pickup that helped set up Matt Stover's 41-yard field goal.

"You want the ball, no question," Johnson said. "It was a great preparation. We had the opportunity to get some looks against Fernando Bryant and Dre' Bly and get some good work against two quality corners.

"Overall, I think it was a positive step in the right direction."

Heading into the game, Johnson had three catches for 30 yards.

"It's just an opportunity for me, with those guys gone, to make some plays," Johnson said.

Taylor (groin) and Heap (shoulder) might be back for the Ravens' preseason finale Thursday night against the New York Giants.

Quiet night for J. Lewis

It was a relatively uneventful night for Ravens running back Jamal Lewis. He gained just 4 yards on four carries, with all but one coming in the first quarter.

"We did some good things," Lewis said. "We still have to go out and experiment on some things. We need to get some good runs and some good passes off. From my position, we're running the ball pretty good, seeing our holes and running where we need to run."

That was true for the backups, Chester Taylor and Musa Smith, who combined for 136 yards on 20 carries.

More Stewart struggles

Backup quarterback Kordell Stewart's troubles continued last night. Stewart threw an interception trying to thread a pass to Ron Johnson, who was double-covered in the end zone in the third quarter, costing the Ravens at least a field goal.

Stewart then fumbled away a snap at the Lions' 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. He finished 6-for-9 for 97 yards.

Sapp causes turnovers

Safety Gerome Sapp recorded a rare triple-turnover night.

Sapp recovered a fumble caused by linebacker T.J. Slaughter in the third quarter, caused a fumble with a jarring hit on receiver Trevor Gaylor in the fourth quarter, then intercepted quarterback Mike McMahon on the Lions' next drive to set up a Ravens' touchdown drive.

He finished with four tackles.

"I hope my performance tonight enables them to trust me to go out and play with our defense," Sapp said.

Contract talk

Player agent David Dunn visited the Ravens last week to meet with general manager Ozzie Newsome, but there were no serious negotiations. Dunn represents rookie receiver Devard Darling, linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Gary Baxter and Heap.

Heap and Lewis are under contract next season, but Lewis is expected to ask for a contract extension. Baxter is an unrestricted free agent after this year, but the Ravens are expected to try to re-sign him during the regular season.

End zone

Fullback Ovie Mughelli sprained his knee in the third quarter and did not return. ... Ravens officials said they have not heard from cornerback Deion Sanders. The former Pro Bowl player is expected to come out of retirement and sign with the Ravens this week. ... In addition to Travis Taylor and Heap, QB Anthony Wright (shoulder), WR Derek Abney (shoulder), CB Chris McAlister (contract dispute), CB Corey Fuller (bruised leg), LB Peter Boulware (knee), C Mike Flynn (collarbone), TE Trent Smith (leg), DE Marques Douglas (elbow) and DE Tony Weaver (ankle) did not play. ... The crowd of 69,522 was a Ravens preseason record.

Sun staff writer Mike Preston contributed to this article.

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