J. Lewis not expected in camp until Monday

Running back hits legal snags upon release from Atlanta halfway house


August 03, 2005|By Steve DeClue | Steve DeClue,Special to baltimoresun.com

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis is not expected to join the team in training camp until Monday.

Lewis spent four months in a Florida prison and two months in an Atlanta halfway house after pleading guilty to federal drug charges.

"He's [Jamal] got something with his probationary period in Atlanta for the next couple days," team Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne said.

"We will continue to deal with the process that he has to deal with. It seems to be ever-changing at times so we'll deal with it as it comes," coach Brian Billick said. When he's allowed to show up here we'll go forward. I'm not completely 100 percent certain when that is right now."

When asked what the delay was, Billick replied, "God and the U.S. government only knows."

Clayton away, Moore will play First round draft pick Mark Clayton was absent for the fourth consecutive day from training camp, which continued to frustrate Billick.

"For a rookie not to be here under the present circumstances shows a complete lack of understanding of what it takes to compete in this league," Billick said.

Clayton's absence from camp is working in Clarence Moore's favor. Moore will likely be the starting wide receiver opposite Derrick Mason.

"Clarence Moore had an outstanding offseason and it's going to take a lot to displace Clarence from that position. It's certainly not going to happen from somebody who's not even here," Billick said. "He's worked very hard. Clarence wanted to be here, he wanted to show he's the starter. That's exactly what he is and that's what being here in camp does for you."

Suggs speaks

Linebacker Terrell Suggs is ready to put his offseason legal troubles behind him after being acquitted on two counts of felony aggravated assault in Arizona on June 29.

"I knew it was going to work out, man. When you didn't do nothing wrong and you know you didn't do nothing wrong, stand by it," Suggs said. "Why plea bargain for something you didn't do?"

Suggs says the charges filed against him won't change his character.

"My father always told me never let nothing change who you are as a person," Suggs said. "That's the Terrell that the world knows. The happy-go-lucky little kid that loves to play football, that dances after he sacks and just has a blast playing football."

As for his play on the field, Suggs wouldn't put an exact number on how many sacks he plans to record this season, but he expects to be among the league leaders.

"We're going for double-digits. I've never had a season with the Ravens where I had less than double-digit sacks," Suggs said.

Offense shows improvement

After a poor practice yesterday, Billick was pleased with how the offense responded this morning.

"I'm impressed with the way the team did [bounce back] and particularly the offense," Billick said. "Now the defense needs to come back with a good afternoon. [The] offense clearly had the upper hand today. It's good to see coming back from yesterday where we clearly weren't sharp.

"The most consistent group right now has been that offensive line ... so far I'm very pleased with how they are progressing," Billick said.

The lone shining play for the defense came on a Chris McAlister interception off quarterback Anthony Wright. McAlister returned it for a touchdown.

Notes: Todd Heap, Derek Abney, Musa Smith, Gary Gibson and Dan Cody did not practice. Heap did some running drills under a trainer's supervision. ... The Ravens changed today's afternoon practice time because of the heat to 2:45 at the Owings Mills facility but have since gone back to the original plan of a 4:00 practice at McDaniel College. Billick decided that the heat was not as severe as was predicted. ... Keydrick Vincent and Bart Scott became involved in a shoving match during the red zone drill and had to be separated by teammates.

Originally published August 3, 2005, 2:42 PM EDT

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