Ravens get Clayton back in pads

Wide receiver takes part in first training camp practice

J. Lewis to attend practice tomorrow


August 08, 2005|By Baltimoresun.com Staff

After a week of tough words on Mark Clayton's holdout, head coach Brian Billick was a little more diplomatic when discussing the issue Monday morning after practice.

"We're going to wear his scrawny little butt out," Billick jokingly said

Clayton was on the field for his first training camp practice since ending a five-day holdout and agreeing to a five-year, $8.2 million deal on Friday night. But Billick will take a cautious approach in easing the first-round pick back into the full practice routine, hoping to avoid aggravating the hamstring Clayton originally injured during minicamp.

"These guys have worked hard for a week to get into a certain pacing," Billick said. "There's a certain fatigue level you get past, and they're past that. They're going great. [Clayton] still has a ways to go."

Billick said Clayton would probably be allowed back into team drills on Wednesday, which is fine by Clayton. The rookie acknowledged he couldn't make up for a missed week in one day.

"Coming from high school to college was a similar process for me," said Clayton, who redshirted his first year at Oklahoma. "I'm really good at learning from watching. I learned a lot today and when they put me in. Hopefully, I'll be up to pace with them and there's not much of a drop-off."

With 34 days remaining before the Ravens regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, Clayton feels he has ample preparation time. "We still have four preseason games before the first game, so I feel like that's quite a lot of time to learn everything that we're putting in and catch up with the guys' speed," he said.

As for Billick's daily soundbites on the holdout, Clayton claims he missed most of them. "I saw one clip, but I just smiled and knew that I needed to get out there to do my job," Clayton said.

After joking that Clayton had probably picked up most of the Ravens offense last week from playing Madden Football, quarterback Kyle Boller said he understood Clayton's perspective from his own holdout in 2003.

"He wanted to be here and that's the main thing," Boller said. " He was in his playbook. It was just a matter of time before it happened and here we are today. He's at practice and we can now move forward."

After staying after practice to catch extra passes from quarterback Anthony Wright, Clayton began to assume the duties of a rookie. Never mind that $8.2 million deal he signed. He still had to carry three sets of his teammates' shoulder pads off the field.

J. Lewis update

Jamal Lewis returned to Baltimore Sunday night and met with his probation officer today - the final step in completing his federal drug sentence. Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said Lewis planned to meet with his teammates this afternoon and would attend practice Tuesday.

Billick indicated Lewis wouldn't be in pads until Wednesday, but responded to reports that the team would put the running back on the physically unable to perform list by stressing, "he's going to play this week."

Boller said the team was eager to get Lewis back into the fold. Boller, who visited Lewis a couple weeks ago, "He looks great. I could tell he had that look in his eye -- that he's ready to play some football again."

Notes: Attendance for the first week of training camp at McDaniel College totaled 19,375 - an average of 3,875 fans per day.

Originally published August 8, 2005, 3:54 PM EDT

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