Rolle writes off Johnson's words as trash-talking



Shortly before practice yesterday, Samari Rolle's phone rang. He knew who it was, so the Ravens cornerback did the only thing he could to keep his sanity. He let his trash-talking friend from Cincinnati go straight to voice mail.

And if Chad Johnson calls again before the Ravens play the Bengals on Sunday, he will get the same treatment.

"He called me the Monday night before our game [against the Pittsburgh Steelers], and was talking trash," Rolle said. "Right then and there I decided I wasn't going to talk to him."

Who knows what Johnson had to say to Rolle, a high school teammate at Miami Beach? But if Johnson is looking to draw Rolle into a war of words, either privately or publicly, he picked the wrong guy.

"The thing is, I've known him since elementary school," Rolle said. "The talking and all of that, he's a little kid. He's grown up now, and I'm proud of him because he's been through a lot, and he's a great receiver.

"I'm not going to sit here and get into an argument and talk about what we're going to do and this and that. Because Chad does that every week, so let him do what he likes to do."

Rolle's normally collected personality did bristle, however, at being on Johnson's original list of cornerbacks in his locker that read, `Who covered No. 85 in '05?' Beside the cornerbacks' names are `Yes and No' boxes. Rolle and Chris McAlister represented the Ravens.

"And? So what am I supposed to do because [my name is] on the list?" Rolle said. "We'll see Sunday. I'm happy for him that he has a list and everything. That's just a publicity stunt, basically. He's a great player, and we'll see on Sunday.

"There are also other ways to go about it, letting everybody know how good you are. That's what he chooses to do. So be it."

Injury update

Quarterback Kyle Boller (toe) practiced yesterday, but the Ravens still have him as doubtful for the game. Boller missed part of the team drills.

Safety Ed Reed (ankle), also doubtful, did not practice. Defensive end Tony Weaver (toe) did not take part in team drills.

"Mark Clayton [ankle, questionable] and Ovie Mughelli [ankle, questionable] are the ones we're most optimistic about," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We'll see about Weaver. That will be the biggest question mark. Of course Ray [Lewis] and Ed are unlikely to go."

Crediting Scott, Polley

Ravens coaches credited linebacker Bart Scott with nine tackles against the Steelers, one fewer than middle linebacker Tommy Polley.

The totals were not far off from the numbers produced when Lewis starts in the middle and Polley is on the weak side. In fact, Lewis and Polley combined for more tackles in just two of the Ravens' six previous games (21 against Detroit, 20 against Tennessee).

"I don't think it was a step off in play because I think Bart Scott and Tommy Polley played great," linebacker Adalius Thomas said. "Everybody stepped their game up even more, and I don't think we were out there like, `Ray would have made that play.' We were out there playing for each other, all 11 people flying to the ball. I think that is going to help us mature even faster.

"You're only as good as your weakest link. And our weakest link is pretty strong."

Familiar face

The winning coach of Sunday's game will have a one-game advantage, head-to-head, over the loser. Billick and Marvin Lewis have split the four previous games.

Lewis was defensive coordinator for three years with the Ravens under Billick.

"It's great to compete against people who are friends and who you appreciate, respect and been around with," Billick said.

Thompson signed

The Ravens signed cornerback Duvol Thompson to the practice squad. Thompson, 5 feet 9, 183 pounds, is a rookie out of Pennsylvania. Thompson replaces defensive back Jamaine Winborne, who was placed on the practice-squad injured list.

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