Wright is back on solid ground

Ravens notebook

Backup QB is upbeat about his return to action after year on the sideline

August 18, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Seeing his first action since the Ravens' loss to the Tennessee Titans to end the 2003 season, Anthony Wright knocked off the rust in his arm and reclaimed his position as the backup quarterback.

Playing behind a second-string offensive line, Wright, who was third string behind Kordell Stewart last year, completed four of 15 passes for 50 yards in about two quarters in Saturday night's preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

It may not have been a career-defining performance, but the experience of running the Ravens' offense again in a game setting was invaluable.

"I was kind of anxious," Wright said. "Things were moving pretty much as I expected. There were things I wished I could have done a little bit better. But that's just coming from not playing a year and a half. I think things went decent, and I expect them to get better as the preseason goes on."

In 2003, Wright was the starter the final eight games including the playoffs, leading the Ravens to a 5-3 record and a division title. Wright had shoulder surgery that offseason and was on the physically-unable-to-perform list for much of last year.

Two months ago, Wright said he had finally fully recovered from the injury and could make all the throws in his arsenal. The shaky offensive line play against the Falcons did not allow Wright much time to show that, but he did deliver a 44-yard strike to Randy Hymes that was knocked away at the last second.

"Physically, I was a little bit sore the next day, but that was to be expected," Wright said. "I hadn't played in a while. But it wasn't anything too bad. The more I continue to play, the better my body is going to feel."

Wright expects to see more time when the Ravens host the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night. Whether any of it will come with the first unit remains to be seen.

"I would love to get a chance to play with the starters, but I understand the situation," Wright said. "All I can do right now is just work hard and try to do the best I can on the field."

Billick mum on Owens

Saturday's game could very well turn into a circus with the possible return of Eagles receiver Terrell Owens, but Ravens coach Brian Billick is doing his part to keep the attention on the field.

Billick, as he did last week, basically disregarded questions about Owens.

"I like the group [of receivers] I've got right now," Billick said.

Asked if he's glad Owens is not on the Ravens, he said, "It's really not my concern right now."

Asked if he is glad he doesn't have to deal with the distraction Owens is causing with his contract dispute, Billick said: "It's never good to have distractions. They show up in a lot of different forms. I like what's going on with us right now."

Moore sharp in drills

Clarence Moore had probably the most impressive day of practice of any receiver all training camp yesterday.

Moore twice beat Samari Rolle for touchdowns during one-on-one drills, then got behind the defense for a 60-yard touchdown during team drills.

"When you show [quarterback] Kyle [Boller] all week that you can come down with those balls, he'll have faith in you," Moore said. "I'm just trying to show him if he does throw it up like that, I'm going to do my best to come down with it."

Moore dropped a touchdown pass against Atlanta but said he put that out of his mind later that night.

"The DB made a good play, but I still should have got it away from him," he said. "It wasn't something where I was wide-open and just dropped it. But it was a play I should have caught."

Stover's snack time

Cameras caught kicker Matt Stover having a little snack late in the Falcons game, continuing the tradition set by former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa, who was known for eating on the sideline during preseason games.

"I was hungry, but that's not supposed to be seen," said Stover, who ate a hot dog. "I was trying to be very discreet about it. My game was over, and I didn't have to do any more. I hadn't eaten since 3 o'clock, so I needed to get a little snack in. I hope Baltimore forgives me for taking a little break there during the game."

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