Injured Ogden still able to hold the line

Ravens notebook

All-Pro's return keeps Steelers defense in check

unsung Kemoeatu lauded

Pro Football

September 21, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Jonathan Ogden played all the way during the Ravens' 30-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday on an injured knee, but who could tell?

Ogden did not allow a sack, kept outside linebacker Joey Porter (only three tackles) in check and helped pave the way for a 172-yard rushing effort.

"It didn't feel great," Ogden said. "I didn't feel like I was close to 100 percent. It's still sore, but sometimes you've got to go with what ails you in this game. I thought I was able to give them something, and I gave them enough for us to get the win."

And enough to stabilize an offensive line that looked to be in shambles a week earlier when he was not in the lineup.

Ogden will still have to fight through the pain Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals and possibly beyond.

"It will probably be another two weeks or so," Ogden said. "That's just the way it goes. When you come back the first time, you are not 100 percent, but thankfully it's an injury that does heal. I had it before in my right knee. So hopefully by the Monday night game [Oct. 4, Kansas City Chiefs] or the game after that against the Redskins, it will be 100 percent."

The offensive line looked much like its bullying self of a year ago with Ogden back, knocking the Steelers around for runs on 10 of the 11 plays in the opening touchdown drive.

"It was good having him back," left guard Edwin Mulitalo said. "I was excited.

"There were a lot of good blocks. Whenever we all did our assignments, it was good."

Nose for making the play

Nose guard Maake Kemoeatu was awarded the defensive game ball after subbing for an injured Kelly Gregg against the Steelers.

With Terrell Suggs' constant pressure on the quarterbacks and Chris McAlister's interception return for a touchdown, Kemoeatu's one-tackle performance seems to pale in comparison, but Ravens coach Brian Billick may have been trying to make a point by highlighting Kemoeatu's unselfish play. Kemoeatu's main job was to tie up multiple offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage to allow linebacker Ray Lewis free runs at the ball carrier.

"It comes down to me doing my job," Kemoeatu said. "If somebody goes down, it's time for me to step up. I have to keep guys off of Ray like Kelly does. I tried my best to do it. I can't do it as well as Kelly, but I tried to do it."

Chester Taylor (offense) and Dave Zastudil (special teams) were also awarded game balls.

A different point of view

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan called the game from the sideline for the first time since he was promoted to the position in 2002. Nolan, who usually makes calls from the coaches' box, likes the view.

"It was good to be on the sideline," Nolan said. "I've been on it before. I was on it for four years of the 11 I've done this job. I'm really surrounded by some great defensive coaches that do a great job on the field and in the booth. For me, I notice the difference being on the field, but the feedback I was getting from the booth made it better."

First time for everything

Billick could not question the accuracy of the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on offensive line coach Jim Colletto for accidentally tripping a referee on a Taylor run in the first quarter. He did, however, acknowledge the uniqueness. Coaches are not allowed in the white area that separates the field from the sideline.

"Evidently Jim Colletto encroached on that," Billick said. "It's legitimate. We have to be out of there, and he tripped up the official. I've been at this 15 years, that's happened before, and I've never once seen that call. The official gets up, shoots that stare ... but it's a warning. It's the first time I've ever seen it called, but this is Baltimore."

Time on Billick's side

Nolan made the coaching staff's second error when he called timeout in the second quarter after an Antwaan Randle El catch that eventually was overturned on a challenge.

"If a team has got a little bit of a roll, like they did, sometimes you utilize a timeout to slow them down, give your defense a chance to catch its breath and regroup," Billick said. "Sometimes you throw the [red challenge] flag for that, and that was what I was about to do."

Nolan, though, beat Billick to it, calling timeout as the flag was in the air. The officials recognized the timeout, then would have taken another timeout away from the Ravens had they lost the challenge. But the referee overturned an 11-yard catch by Randle El that would have been a first down.

"That won't happen again," Billick said. "Believe me, Mike will not do that again. I will call the timeouts. It was just a communication gap."

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Ravens (1-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)

Site: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

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

Line: Ravens by 3

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