Chiefs returner Hall raises special coverage concerns


His TD on kickoff was Ravens' undoing last time

Pro Football

October 01, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Kansas City Chiefs return specialist Dante Hall will likely glide side to side, stutter step, reverse field and change speeds in an attempt to find room for a big return in Monday night's game against the Ravens.

Hall's histrionics, though, will be only part of the Ravens coverage units' concerns. The 10 other guys paving the way for Hall are just as big an issue.

"Those guys can block," Ravens special teams ace Harold Morrow said. "They block all the way up and down the field. We have to play our best game."

The Ravens know this from experience. Hall returned a kickoff 97 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 loss when the teams met last year. The return came after the Ravens had limited him to kickoff returns of 11 and 13 yards earlier in the game, and his lone punt return lost 4 yards.

But touchdown also came after the Ravens were offside on a kickoff and forced to kick again.

Hall, who missed practice yesterday with an infected lower lip, leads the NFL with a 14-yard punt return average this season.

The good news for the Ravens is that Hall has only had a chance to field nine punts in three games because of the Chiefs' struggling defense.

Ready for `Prime Time'?

Return man Deion Sanders and nose guard Kelly Gregg returned to practice yesterday. Both were upgraded from doubtful to questionable.

Offensive tackle Ethan Brooks (knee), linebacker T.J. Slaughter (hamstring) and fullback Ovie Mughelli (hamstring) also practiced. Receiver Travis Taylor (thigh) and tight end Todd Heap (ankle) did not practice and will not play.

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs (0-3) vs. Ravens (2-1)

Site: M&T Bank Stadium

When: Monday, 9 p.m.

TV/Radio: Chs. 2, 7/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line: Ravens by 5 1/2

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