Sams subs in secondary

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

November 21, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

The Ravens lost cornerback Samari Rolle to a concussion with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rolle was replaced by Dale Carter for the rest of the game, though he seemed level-headed in the locker room afterward.

Return specialist B.J. Sams filled in for Carter as the dime (sixth) defensive back. It was the first time Sams had played defense this year.

"I was pretty comfortable," said Sams, whose 14-yard punt return in overtime helped set up the game-winning field goal. "I had been doing it during the week, and was told to focus on [the dime]."

Sharpe rips Boller again

Shannon Sharpe did not back down from the assessment he made last week of Kyle Boller, tearing into the Ravens quarterback further on CBS' NFL Today.

Sharpe, a former Ravens tight end turned analyst, essentially said Boller was not much of a quarterback on his weekly radio show, then clarified the statement yesterday.

"You don't have to listen to what I say, but go down the hall and ask Brian Billick or Ozzie Newsome what type of player you are and whether I know what I'm talking about," Sharpe said.

"And it's not one mistake. It's a lot of mistakes. That's the problem."

Boller did get the last laugh yesterday with the win.

"It might not have been pretty," Boller said. "I have a lot of improvements to do. I wish I could have been perfect. I'm sure Shannon will find some reason to talk about me."

Bad pitch, good replay

One bit of good news for Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller was that his ill-advised pitch to Jamal Lewis as he was falling down a yard from the end zone in the second quarter did not cost his team.

Boller's mistake, which originally was ruled a fumble after the ball bounced off Lewis' face mask, but was overturned after a replay challenge ruled Boller's knee down, taught him a lesson without costing his team. Boller found Randy Hymes for a touchdown two plays later.

"That nose guard jumped quick, so I got my foot pinned to the ground," Boller said. "I knew my knee was on the ground. I shouldn't have pitched it, obviously. You live and learn. Luckily, they were able to replay it and saw that my knee was down."

Unfazedby boos

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis heard a chorus of boos the first time he took the field after his fumble in the second quarter.

Lewis, who says he was unfazed by the negative response, would carry the ball just four more times for 10 yards the rest of the game.

"That's how it goes," Lewis said. "Those are fans. This is the game, and that's how the game goes. It's just a matter of time. I'm not hurt by it. I've been through much worse than that, trust me. That doesn't do anything to my confidence level. I know what type of running back I am and what I can do."

New pieces,same result

The Ravens started a different right side of the offensive line, with Tony Pashos and Brian Rimpf replacing injured Orlando Brown and Keydrick Vincent.

The difference from the previous much-maligned line that had started every other game this season was negligible. Quarterback Kyle Boller was sacked five times and Chester Taylor and Jamal Lewis combined for 87 yards on 32 carries (2.7 yards per carry).

"I thought things went pretty well," Rimpf said. "There'll be some positives, some negatives."

Clayton goes long

Passes to receivers other than Derrick Mason had been few and far between this season, but rookie Mark Clayton got seven thrown his way yesterday.

Clayton caught four of the throws for 43 yards, but missed on two deep opportunities, both coming in the end zone (from 43 and 29 yards). It was a change for the Ravens, who usually work Clayton underneath.

"They just told me this week we're going to try and get you deep, and that was it," Clayton said. "We tried today, but we were incomplete."

Bounce goes Ravens' way

The Ravens were the beneficiaries of a bizarre interception in the final moments of the fourth quarter when Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox tried to connect with receiver Hines Ward on the right sideline.

Cornerback Chris McAlister was locked in man-to-man coverage with Ward. The two went up together for the ball, but it bounced downward, hit squarely on Ward's foot and caromed skyward.

Several yards away at the Ravens' 44-yard line, defensive end Terrell Suggs dived and caught it. After a long review, the officials awarded the ball to Baltimore.

"It was a fluke, man. I thought I was getting held," Ward said. "The guy was grabbing me. He had my right arm. I tried to bat it down with my left and it kicked off my foot. Fluke play."

Somewhat silenced

Steelers linebacker Joey Porter usually makes his presence known against the Ravens, but he had a relatively quiet game yesterday.

Porter had five tackles, but put no real pressure on Kyle Boller. That did not stop Porter from taking a backhanded swipe at the Ravens afterward.

"If we go out there and jump on them early, it's possible they just quit, but we went into halftime losing, so we let them stick around the whole game and the crowd was into it," Porter said.

End zone

Pittsburgh had rushed the ball about 60 percent of the time before yesterday, but with the Ravens putting eight men near the line of scrimmage, the Steelers' pass-run ratio was turned upside down as they threw 60 percent of the time (38 passes, 25 rushes). ... The Ravens have won their past four overtime games and are 6-3-1 in their history. ... The crowd of 70,601 was the largest in Baltimore pro football history. ... Ed Reed, Musa Smith, Zach Norton, Keydrick Vincent, Orlando Brown, Devard Darling and Clarence Moore were the Ravens' inactive players.

Sun reporter Bill Ordine contributed to this article.

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