Ring of Honor adds McCrary

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Chiefs 27, Ravens 24

October 05, 2004|By BRENT JONES AND MIKE PRESTON | BRENT JONES AND MIKE PRESTON,SUN STAFF

The Ravens inducted former defensive end Michael McCrary into the team's Ring of Honor last night at halftime of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the first player inducted since Earnest Byner in 2001.

McCrary played for the Ravens from 1997 to 2002, gaining the reputation as one of the league's best pass rushers. He is second on the Ravens' all-time sack list with 51.

Somewhat undersized, Mc- Crary got a number of his big plays by simply out-hustling his opponent. McCrary's 14 1/2 sacks in 1998 are the second most by a Raven in one season, a half sack behind Peter Boulware in 2001.

"He was just a dream," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "He had a constant motor and huge passion for the game. He was all about the game, and anybody around him recognized that."

One of McCrary's most heroic moments came in the January 2001 Super Bowl when he refused to come out of the game despite suffering a severe injury in which the bone in his arm was nearly out of his skin.

McCrary finished with two sacks and a forced fumble in the Ravens' win over the New York Giants.

The Ravens ran a two-minute video highlight of McCrary during the ceremony.

"Retirement is hard. It's been real tough for me," said Mc- Crary, a two-time Pro Bowl player. "But this makes it easier."

McCrary retired after the 2002 season because of a degenerative condition in his surgically repaired knees.

"I just want to thank Michael for his contribution on the field and in the community," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

SANDERS DOESN'T PLAY

The biggest surprise of the night came two hours before kickoff when Deion Sanders was ruled out for the game.

Sanders strained his hamstring the second week of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and has missed the past two games. He practiced all of last week and looked as though he would play as the nickel (fifth) defensive back.

Ray Walls took Sanders' place with the defense, and rookie B.J. Sams returned all the punts, one of which went 58 yards for a game-tying touchdown at the end of the first half. Sanders has played in just six of the 24 quarters this season.

ZASTUDIL NOT WORRIED

Punter Dave Zastudil entered last night's game last in the AFC in gross average, but he is not too concerned about it.

Zastudil had a 39.8 average on 20 punts, but has placed eight kicks inside the 20, part of the reason why his average is so low.

"If that hurts my statistics but helps us win ballgames ... statistics can be deceiving sometimes," Zastudil said. "Everyone's job on the team is to help.

"I think I'm striking the ball good. We've played a couple of windy games. Overall, I think I'm getting a lot more hang time this year. Previous years, I would drive the ball too far and they would get a return out of it."

Zastudil's first two punts last night were for 42 and 32 yards, and both were not returned by Dante Hall because of the hang time.

FASSEL ON SIDELINE

Ravens senior offensive consultant Jim Fassel stood on the sideline during the game, a rare occurrence for the former New York Giants head coach.

Quarterback Kyle Boller, for one, welcomed his input.

"It will be great," Boller said. "He can give me some hints. I have been fortunate to have him on Monday and Tuesdays to work with me."

EDWARDS STILL SITS

For the third straight game, second-round pick Dwan Edwards was on the inactive list. In the previous two games, the Ravens claimed Edwards' inactivity had more to do with the team wanting to keep two nose guards because of Kelly Gregg's knee injury.

But Gregg returned to the lineup last night, while Edwards did not.

"It's tough," Edwards said. "I'm realizing why it's being done. We've been winning games, and that's the good thing about it. It gives me a chance to get better week to week. Hopefully, I can make that active list."

BILLICK LOSES ONE

The Ravens lost a challenge in the first quarter when Billick protested a pass interference call on Gary Baxter.

It appeared as though a defensive lineman tipped quarterback Trent Green's pass, but replays showed the ball just fell short of Hall, the intended target.

The Ravens did not have to worry about a Chiefs challenge for most of the first half because they used all their timeouts by the end of the first quarter. Kansas City lost an officials' review in the last two minutes of the second quarter when, after Priest Holmes' run, the Chiefs were marked a yard short of the first down, setting up Sams' return.

POSSESSION UNBALANCED

The story of the game was told in the time of possession. Kansas City had the ball for 39:43.

The Ravens had it for only 20:17. The Ravens never got into any offensive rhythm, which means running back Jamal Lewis didn't get enough carries.

Lewis carried only 15 times for 73 yards.

"If we had a chance to get a rhythm and actually run a series of plays, I thought we could get some things going, but that wasn't the nature of the game," Billick said. "We couldn't sustain it, and then they'd get a long drive and it was just an out of sync all night in that regard."

VERMEIL RELIEVED

"I was very pleased to come in here and win after losing three and people have written you off and taken a lot of sarcastic shots, and I really respect the club for that," said Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. "It's a hard thing to do, and come in here and win on Monday night in front of the country. They are a good football team and we're the only ones to beat them here. We beat them here last year, and we beat them here this year."

END ZONE

Ovie Mughelli, T.J. Slaughter, Mike Flynn, Tony Pashos, Todd Heap and Travis Taylor were the other Ravens inactives. Chiefs starting receiver Eddie Kennison did not play. Hall started in place of Kennison.

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Ravens (2-2) vs. Washington Redskins (1-3)

Site: FedEx Field, Landover

When: Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: Chs. 13, 7, ESPN/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM), WJFK (106.7 FM), WNAV (1430 AM)

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