After catching flak for avoiding hit, Moore says he'll be ready next time

Dinkins looks for revenge against Giants

Stover explains kicking accuracy

Pro Football

December 11, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

If the chance comes again, and it is a safe bet that it will, Clarence Moore will not worry about a big hit.

Moore said he never did in the first place despite the appearance that he slowed down going across the middle on a Kyle Boller pass that resulted in an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Contrary to a perception that the lanky receiver is scared to take a hard shot, Moore said he has no fear of bigger linebackers and safeties who look to deliver knockout blows. Time, or a courageous catch in the teeth of the New York Giants defense tomorrow, will prove that to be true.

"You can't worry about that in this game. It would be silly to," said Moore, who has 19 catches for 225 yards and two touchdowns. "That's the kind of plays that happen. As long as the ball is there to be caught, you got to do your best to bring it in. The hesitation that is in me is in any receiver in the NFL. I got to come down with the ball, and if you don't, you're going to hear it all week."

Moore has heard about his half-run route much of this week, but he prefers to go back a couple of games earlier when he made a 24-yard catch over the middle against the Dallas Cowboys, then took a shot from safety Lynn Scott.

"If it's not a thought in your mind, then you're lying," Moore said. "But I took a hit in Dallas. It was that same kind of play. I came up and said to myself as the ball was in the air, `I'm about to get hit.' But I held on to that ball.

"This time, the ball came, and it was not about the guys that are around me but about the coverage I thought I read and my reason for slowing down. It was two different things. I wasn't worried about the guys around me. I was reading something different than Kyle was reading. It was a mistake by me but it's something I will get over."

Moore expects Boller will get over it, too, and will not be hesitant to go to him when the situation presents itself again.

"He knows people go through games like that because he went through it his first year," Moore said. "He knows that it's just something you go through and the next time he throws it to me, I'm going to continue to do what I did before. You can't just stop trusting your receivers because of one incident like that. He didn't lose trust in me at all. We're ready to get it going again."

Giant acquisition

One of the first personnel moves Giants coach Tom Coughlin made after he took over the team was to cut tight end Darnell Dinkins.

Dinkins signed with the Ravens in October after he was waived by the Giants before training camp began in July. The team, apparently, grew tired of Dinkins after he broke his foot during a minicamp.

"I'm not angry. I understand the business," Dinkins said. "Everything happens for a reason. I love it here and am really getting an opportunity to showcase what I can do. As far as having animosity, I think God grew me up a lot in those areas as far as holding a grudge against people. But at the same time, you do want to say, `Hey, this is what you could have had on your team this year.'"

Kicking up a storm

Ravens kicker Matt Stover is having an outstanding year, but he is not the only one.

While Stover has missed just one field goal in 23 attempts, he is among 12 kickers who are converting at least 85 percent of their tries.

Stover has an idea as to why the numbers are up.

"Two things," Stover said. "One is the field surfaces are better. The other is that teams are learning that because they use the 8 yards [distance from where the ball is snapped], they tend not to kick real long ones all the time. Kickers have also become better because there is better coaching. There are kicking camps all over the country now."

Reed in award mix

As Ed Reed's name continues to be bantered around the NFL for a possible Defensive Player of the Year award, the Pro Bowl safety is not getting caught in the hype.

With three-quarters of the season complete, Reed is tied for the league lead with seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Reed has recorded an interception in four of his past five games.

"I'm glad to be mentioned up there," Reed said. "We have prepared for it and talked about it countless number of times, me and Ray [Lewis]. If it don't, it don't. If it do, it do, and I'm going to thank God regardless of either one."

End zone

Running back Jamal Lewis (ankle) did not practice and remains questionable for tomorrow's game. Right tackle Orlando Brown (knee, questionable), receiver Travis Taylor (questionable, back) and nickel back Deion Sanders (questionable, foot) practiced and appear ready to play. Defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu (leg), who was added to the injury report, is questionable.

"They have progressed during the week," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "When you play poker, do you make everyone show you your hand when you play? They will be what they will be, and we will make those determinations Sunday."

Next for Ravens

Matchup: New York Giants (5-7) vs. Ravens (7-5)

Site: M&T Bank Stadium

When: Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: Chs. 45, 5/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line: Ravens by 10

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