Hot against Browns, J. Lewis keeps cool


Pro Football


Much as he did before the two games against the Cleveland Browns last year, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis is not offering up any bulletin-board material.

There will be no predictions of having a "career day." There will be no gloating over his record-setting 295-yard performance in the second game of the 2003 season. And Lewis, at least publicly, is not counting down the days until he faces a franchise that has given up four of the top eight rushing games of his six-year career.

"You can't really say, `Oh, it's the Browns, and I'm going to go out and get 200 yards,'" Lewis said. "You never know. That's why I went in last year like, `These guys know what we're going to do. We got all these yards against them before. They're not going to let that happen again.'"

In splitting the series with the Ravens last season, the Browns did a good job of containing Lewis, limiting the back to 57 yards in the first game and 81 yards in the second. It was the worst season total for Lewis against the Browns in the four years he has faced the team.

Lewis is still averaging 147.6 rushing yards against Cleveland, his highest total against any divisional foe. But Lewis, who looks to be rounding into midseason form after rushing for 95 yards against the Detroit Lions, deflected attention to the offensive line when speculating whether he anticipates his personal rivalry against the Browns to swing back in his direction after the off year.

"It's one of those things where it's like, `Who is going to get who first?'" Lewis said. "I think that is how it goes with a team you play two times a year. You're pretty much rivals, know each other.

"Is our offensive line going to be more physical, or is their defense going to be more physical against us? That's what really determines the outcome of the game."

But why not predict another career day, especially when it worked so well two years ago and being humble last year did not?

"The only thing that made me say that back then was that I have a friend [Andre Davis] over there, and we were just talking on the phone," Lewis said. "I said that to him. At the same time, it wasn't supposed to go that far. He was supposed to let that phone conversation go as far as that phone. It went and backfired."

Talking again

The offensive line's boycott of the media is over. A number of linemen conducted interviews yesterday, including Orlando Brown, who was credited for placing the gag order. Brown, though, disputes it was his idea, and said he was just following orders.

"We're a unit, so we stick together," Brown said. "If one fights, then we all fight. If one says we can't talk, then we can't talk. It wasn't a big thing."

End zone

Quarterback Kyle Boller is out for Sunday's game. The Ravens had originally hoped Boller (toe) could serve as the third quarterback. Fullback Alan Ricard (calf) is questionable. Todd Heap (knee), Samari Rolle (neck), Terrell Suggs (back) and Chester Taylor (shoulder) are probable. ... Browns coach Romeo Crennel has ruled out rookie receiver Braylon Edwards, who has an arm infection. Running back Lee Suggs (thumb) also will not play. ... Ravens quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel said he has not been contacted about the Temple head-coaching job, which will be open at the end of the college season. He is rumored to be high on the list of potential candidates.

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