Heat falls on Billick after Sams' arrest

Ravens notebook

Coach fields questions about camp rules, says case details not known

Pro Football

August 17, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens return specialist B.J. Sams may have sidestepped the spotlight after being arrested early Monday morning, but his coach was not as fortunate.

Brian Billick had to answer questions about whether his training camp is too lenient in light of the Sams case. Unlike at other NFL teams' camps, veterans are not required to stay at the team hotel in Westminster after the third night.

Sams was charged with driving under the influence, negligent driving and speeding shortly after 2 a.m. He was clocked at 89 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to a police report.

"Well, these are grown men," Billick said. "I can't lock them up and put them away 24-7. He had free time, and I don't want to comment again until we know exactly what happened. There are legal liabilities here. But anytime someone has time, they have to act responsibly."

Sams was not made available to the media after practice yesterday. He did field punts during the session after sitting out Saturday night's preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons with a hamstring injury.

The Ravens will await the result of the case before assessing a punishment for Sams.

"We have to let the process work itself out," Billick said. "I kind of get tired of having to say that all the time. So we're not going to prejudge. He did not violate any team rules because he was on his own."

Billick addressed Sams' situation with the entire team during a morning meeting.

"We're all rushing to judgment here a little bit," the coach said. "Let's make sure due process works. Do you want me to pull out my, `You're not qualified to try this' line again?"

`We'll get it right'

Nerves would be the easy explanation as to why third-string quarterback Derek Anderson fumbled away his initial snap as a Raven on Saturday night, but the rookie sixth-round pick said that had nothing to do with what happened.

"I've been playing football since I was 8," Anderson said. "It was a little bit of me riding [the center] a little longer and [the center] in a new position. We'll get it right."

Anderson, who went 4-for-7 passing for 36 yards, came back to lead a nine-play drive on his third possession that ended with an interception in the end zone.

"It was all right," Anderson said. "It wasn't anything special. The drive was good that we had. Obviously, the end result isn't what we want. But that's why they have preseason games; we learn from our mistakes."

Clayton pleased

After making no mistakes against the Falcons, rookie receiver Mark Clayton is expected to get just as many opportunities to return punts Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Clayton was in for four punt returns against Atlanta, but only got his hands on the ball one of those times, when he had to fair-catch. He also had a 6-yard reception.

"I was excited to come to the [Georgia] Dome and play," Clayton said. "I got a catch out of it, and I got all of my assignments and everything done. It was a good night."

Et cetera

The team had to move yesterday's practice to its indoor facility. That marked the second time the Ravens have had to move practice from McDaniel College during this training camp. "It's great that we have it as opposed to slopping around in the mud or not getting [practice] in," Billick said. ... The team signed Owen Pochman, who will compete with Rhys Lloyd to be the kickoff specialist. ... The Ravens cut punter Jesse Ohliger. ... Linebacker Adalius Thomas dressed for practice, but did not participate in team drills. ... Linebacker Tyson Smith injured his leg toward the end of practice. There is no timetable for his return.

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