Winborne familiar with facing tough odds

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Billick wants to go slow with newly signed Clayton

Pro Football

August 07, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

When Jamaine Winborne intercepted Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell in the end zone yesterday, it was a positive step on what has been a tough road for the Ravens' first-year cornerback.

Just 16 months ago, Winborne was shot in his left leg when an end-of-the-school-year party at the University of Virginia turned violent. According to the three-year Cavaliers starter, the bullet barely missed a major artery, which could have made the injury life threatening.

"It put a lot of stuff into perspective," said Winborne, who still has numbness in the leg. "It made me change my life. I took it as a sign from God."

After getting cut by the New York Giants in September, he joined the Ravens' practice squad a month later. Winborne understands that cracking the final roster is a major challenge, especially when he sits in a meeting room with Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Deion Sanders and Dale Carter.

"We've got four Pro Bowlers at corner so that raises your expectations," Winborne said. "They go out and make plays, which sets the mood for you. I'm just trying to fit in."

Taking it easy

Rookie receiver Mark Clayton made the Ravens wait with his five-day holdout. Now, it's the Ravens' turn.

"I can't throw him into the fray on Monday," coach Brian Billick said. "I don't know if that's something he and his people counted on, figuring `We're signed, we'll start.' No you won't. I have to find out where he's at and ease him into it. He's behind the curve."

Billick's concern comes from Clayton missing nearly half of the offseason practices with a hamstring injury. The first-round pick signed his five-year, $8.2 million contract yesterday morning. The deal includes close to $6 million in guaranteed bonuses.

Big crowd

The first scrimmage at M&T Bank Stadium drew 35,517, including 4,500 who walked up that day and bought a ticket. Proceeds from the game will go to the Ravens' All Community Team foundation.

"There was a lot of energy," Billick said. "As long as they keep coming like that, we'll probably keep doing this."

End zone

Running back Jamal Lewis is expected to report today or tomorrow after meeting with a probation officer in Baltimore. It will be determined after his physical whether he will be placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He had ankle surgery this offseason. ... The only injury scare came during the special terms portion of the scrimmage, when Carter hurt his knee. As a precautionary measure, he did not return. "I think he just bruised his knee up," Billick said. ... Redskins coach Joe Gibbs apologized for calling Dallas Cowboys fans "the ugliest people in the world." While answering questions from the crowd at the team's Fan Appreciation Day at training camp on Friday, Gibbs said: "I know we don't have any Dallas people here - they are the ugliest people in the world." Gibbs later stressed that he was joking, but he felt the need to address the matter again after yesterday's scrimmage. ... Defensive end Kelly Gregg (elbow), return specialist B.J. Sams (hamstring), tight end Todd Heap (shoulder and ankle) and running back Musa Smith (leg) did not play.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.