Defense makes pressure point against Redskins

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Unit notches three sacks after frustration vs. K.C.

Colts facility is left behind

Notebook

Ravens

October 12, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The Ravens sacked Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell three times in Sunday night's 17-10 win, one fewer time than they hit Kansas City's Trent Green for the entire game a week earlier.

Green was sacked only once, and the usual pressure Ravens opponents tend to face was non-existent. Call Sunday night's performance redemption for a unit that felt persecuted following the Chiefs game.

This time around, the defensive line kept constant pressure on Brunell, sending the Ravens into their bye week with momentum and a renewed feeling of confidence.

Brunell was hit about four times as much as the Ravens could get to Green.

"We felt like we had a lot to prove," end Tony Weaver said. "We felt like we were getting pressure on Trent Green in the Kansas City game, but we weren't bringing him down. That's the biggest difference between this game and that game. Guys just showed up to play. When you have 107 yards total offense, that's something."

The pressure led to a Brunell fumble and an interception in the end zone by Deion Sanders. Brunell completed just 13 of his 29 attempts.

"Whenever we get the pass rush going, it's the whole defense working together," Weaver said. "The secondary is covering guys and giving us time to get there. We've got to get pressure. We felt like we should always get pressure on the quarterback with the athletic guys we have on the defensive line. There was definitely an added emphasis on it this week."

The Ravens now have 14 sacks on the season, three more than they had a year ago when they finished first in sacks per pass play (47 overall).

"We were playing our style of football, dictating the pace," linebacker Adalius Thomas said. "We were getting pressure on the quarterback, stopping the run and getting off the field on third down."

Moving time

The locker room resembled an obstacle course as players packed all their belongings in 5-foot boxes to be moved to the team's new training facility.

Yesterday marked the final day for the Ravens in their old facility, which previously was home to the Baltimore Colts.

For Ravens kicker Matt Stover, this move to a new building is a lot friendlier than when the franchise had to move from Cleveland to Baltimore.

"We're going to a much happier, better place over there that [owner] Steve Bisciotti built. It's exciting," Stover said.

Fuller trial postponed

The trial for cornerback Corey Fuller, originally scheduled to begin yesterday, was postponed, likely until late December. Fuller is charged with operating a gambling house, a third-degree felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine. Fuller is also facing felony firearm and misdemeanor gambling charges.

Helmet trouble again

Despite two prime-time appearances, some Ravens apparently cannot get enough face time.

One by one, players, especially those on defense, seem to be doing something about it. Linebacker Ed Hartwell was the latest, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for taking off his helmet in the fourth quarter against the Redskins.

Ed Reed and Sanders have also been penalized for that infraction this season.

"We're going to go over to Johns Hopkins and have our helmets surgically attached," Billick said. "The next person that does take his helmet off, we're going to do welding."

Smart grab

What looked to be a serious gaffe turned out to be a smart play by the Redskins' Chad Morton on a Wade Richey kickoff that was headed out of bounds. Before the ball could reach the sideline, Morton, already standing out of bounds, grabbed it at the 15-yard line.

A little-known special teams rule allows a player to field a ball out of bounds on kickoffs even if the ball is still in the field of play. The kicking team will be penalized for kicking the ball out of bounds, and the receiving team will get the ball at the 40-yard line.

"If he had that presence of mind - it's very impressive if he did - to know the thing is going to hang there, I'd better grab it and it will come out to the 40," Billick said.

"It doesn't seem right, does it?"

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