K. Johnson: Facing ex-team not focus

Ravens notebook

Receiver: Cleveland return is `just another game'

Ogden tries light workout

Pro Football

September 08, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

If receiver Kevin Johnson wants to know what it feels like to walk into Cleveland Browns Stadium as a visitor, he can look in either direction from his seat in the Ravens' locker room to find out.

To Johnson's right sits Corey Fuller, who made his return to Cleveland last season after spending four years with the Browns. To his left stands Orlando Brown, whose career nearly came to an end in that stadium when a referee's flag hit him in the eye as a member of the Browns in 1999.

The Ravens will face the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday.

"He's got some people to draw on their experiences, namely [Brown] and Corey, who have been down that road before," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Johnson is playing his first game against the team that made him its second-round pick in 1999, a place where he started 71 games. The Browns released Johnson after nine games last season, citing attitude problems as the primary reason.

The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed Johnson off waivers, then traded him to the Ravens during the draft for a fourth-round pick.

"A lot of those guys I'm very close to, so it's going to be one of those bittersweet games," Johnson said.

"I had a great relationship with the fans, so I feel the fans won't be hard on me at all. I'm sure they are going to be excited for me to come back there, even though I'm with Baltimore."

Fuller and Brown were also released from the Browns before their respective contracts expired. Browns receiver Quincy Morgan told Cleveland reporters that he has already heard from Johnson, who has joined in on some of the early trash talk this week.

Johnson, though, is trying not to make too much of his return.

"It's just another football game," Johnson said.

Practice squad update

The Ravens signed wide receiver Todd Devoe, tackle Tony Pashos, tight end Brett Pierce, guard Brian Rimpf, cornerback Lance Frazier, center Lenny Vandermade, wide receiver Freddie Millons and defensive tackle David Upchurch to the practice squad.

Devoe, Pashos, Pierce, Rimpf, Frazier and Vandermade all spent the preseason with the Ravens.

Millons, originally selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 2002 draft out of Alabama, was the Crimson Tide's all-time leader in receptions (152).

Upchurch spent last season on the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad.

Ogden status still in doubt

Left tackle Jonathan Ogden had a light workout during the Ravens' practice yesterday, leaving his status for Sunday still in doubt.

Ogden suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the preseason finale against the New York Giants, but might be listed as probable when the injury report comes out today. If Ogden is unable to play, Ethan Brooks would start in his place.

"He moved around a little bit more [yesterday]," Billick said. "Hopefully, he will be a lot better by week's end."

McCrary to be honored

Retired defensive end Michael McCrary will be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor at halftime of the Oct. 4 Monday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium.

McCrary's name will join those of former majority owner Art Modell, eight Baltimore Colts greats and running back Earnest Byner on a banner below the upper deck.

"He is truly one of those guys that brought it 100 percent all the time on the practice field and game field. To put him up in the Ring of Honor, that's a given," said left guard Edwin Mulitalo, who played four seasons with McCrary.

McCrary had 71 sacks and 561 tackles during his 10-year career. He also made two Pro Bowls.

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns in opener

Site: Cleveland Browns Stadium

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line: Ravens by 3

Coming tomorrow

NFL Preview 2004: A special section examines the Ravens' prospects and takes a look around the league's divisions.

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