Brown remains part of Titans' 1-2 punch


Former backup to George now has lead rushing role

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

The last time the Ravens and Tennessee Titans played, running back Chris Brown, a backup to a star on his last leg, showed that the team's running game would be in good hands for years to come.

Brown rushed for 61 yards and the game's first touchdown in the Titans' 20-17 playoff win in the 2003 season. He and starter Eddie George gashed the Ravens for 149 yards rushing, providing a 1-2 punch that wore down the defense.

"They did a good job, came out in two-tight ends with [Brown] and Eddie George and ran the ball really well," Ravens defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said. "Hopefully we can stop them from doing that this game."

With George retired, Brown is the featured back, but he will have a backup in Travis Henry, who is expected to spell him the same way he once spelled George.

This combination might actually have a more equitable split. Brown had 11 rushes Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Henry, a former second-round pick by the Buffalo Bills who was traded this offseason, carried the ball 10 times.

They combined for 98 yards before the Titans had to abandon the run.

"It's a nice change-up, a different style," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "Brown is more along the mode of Eddie George: big, slashing, one cut and goes down hill. Henry is harder to see, jets side to side. They have a nice 1-2 change-up."

Anderson to be No. 2?

Billick seemed to be leaning toward promoting rookie Derek Anderson to be the top backup behind Anthony Wright for tomorrow's game, leaving veteran Kordell Stewart at third string.

Stewart signed with the Ravens on Wednesday.

"Kordell, I think, has absorbed a lot," Billick said. "But there is a likelihood that we could go with Derek as No. 2, and see where we are in the game. And obviously, if he goes in and has some difficulties, we could then go with Kordell.

"Derek being here for the length of time that he has, it is a lot to ask Kordell to go in and do a lot. So we'll continue to discuss it, but there will be a No. 2."

Seldom-seen package

The renewal of the Ravens-Titans rivalry will force the Ravens to deal with a formation they have not seen regularly since the previous time the teams played.

Tennessee's base package includes two tight ends, Erron Kinney and Ben Troupe, and the team generally does not use a fullback.

"It's a staple for them. That's probably their No. 1 grouping," Billick said. "That has been Tennessee's M.O. for, gosh, as long as I can remember."

Kinney and Troupe combined for nine catches for 86 yards against the Steelers.

End zone

Cornerback Deion Sanders (calf) did not practice yesterday, but the Ravens upgraded him from questionable to probable. Sanders was the only injured player who did not practice. Linebacker Terrell Suggs (back) also was upgraded from questionable to probable. Orlando Brown (knee), Chris McAlister (knee) and Clarence Moore (knee) were added to the injury report as probable. ... Derrick Mason and Ovie Mughelli will help refurbish a home in Sandtown as part of Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday. Terry Jones and other Ravens will assist the hot lunch program at Paul's Place Outreach Center, which serves Pigtown residents.

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