Offensive line work in progress


Sacks and penalties hamper unit

Flynn: `We've got a lot of work to do'


The Ravens' offensive line is still under construction.

That was the general consensus of the unit, which surrendered a couple sacks and committed a couple penalties but provided some encouraging results in the team's 20-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium last night.

"We're doing some good things, but we've got a lot of work to do," center Mike Flynn said.

Playing the entire first half, the first-string offensive line helped the team gain 192 yards, including a 14-for-18, 148-yard outing from quarterback Steve McNair.

However, unlike in the Ravens' 17-16 loss to the New York Giants last week, the offense could reap only one field goal from four trips into Philadelphia territory.

McNair, who did not get sacked last week, was sacked twice last night. The first was a result of McNair and center Mike Flynn getting their feet tangled as McNair attempted to drop back to pass.

The second occurred when Philadelphia defensive end Jevon Kearse got past right tackle Tony Pashos and hit McNair, causing a fumble that Eagles safety Brian Dawkins recovered at the two-minute warning of the first half.

Pashos also was flagged for holding Kearse during a running play, and left tackle Adam Terry was called for a false start.

"Those are mistakes that we don't want, and we're going to watch film and correct them," Pashos said. "That's part of the preseason - getting the unit together and getting the timing going."

Left guard Edwin Mulitalo said the line and McNair are still getting acquainted with each other.

"I think it's going to be part of the growing process between Steve and us," Mulitalo said. "There's going to be some growing pains, and we're going to try to minimize those because we want his confidence in us and vice versa. That's going to happen. That is one of the good things about preseason. We can see it on tape and address it."

The line also was key to the Ravens' 4.3-yard average on 32 rushing plays, which delighted coach Brian Billick.

"We run the ball very well and the protection is excellent, particularly with the first group," he said. "So I'm very pleased with that so far."

Big plays from M. Smith

Musa Smith scored the team's first touchdown by a running back this preseason.

Capitalizing on a fumble by Philadelphia running back Ryan Moats, Smith took a handoff from Kyle Boller, veered left and ran 43 yards to tie the score at 10 just 2:59 into the third quarter.

Along the way, Smith got a key block from rookie wide receiver Demetrius Williams and evaded a diving tackle by safety Sean Considine.

"After I had the long screen, I just wanted to put one in," said Smith, who - with a 37-yard run against the Giants and a 36-yard screen pass last night - has recorded three of the offense's four largest gains of this preseason. "I'm just really trying to soak in every moment that I have."

Darling makes impact

Devard Darling may have cemented his position as the Ravens' No. 3 wide receiver.

Darling, who is competing with Clarence Moore and Williams for that role, had five receptions for a game-high 121 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown catch from Boller in the fourth quarter.

At least two of Darling's catches were acrobatic, as he had to stop and leap high to grab an alley-oop pass and dived to catch another with just his right hand.

"It was great being out there with Kyle and us being on the same page and him having faith in me knowing that I can come down with the ball," Devard said. "[It's] just building the confidence up and showing the coaches they can count on me."

Extra points

Ravens rookie Sam Koch punted four times, averaging 39.8 yards. Seven-year veteran Leo Araguz punted once for 42 yards. ... Ravens running back Mike Anderson played just three snaps because of a sprained foot. The injury was not considered serious. ... Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (personal reasons), guard Brian Rimpf (hamstring), safety B.J. Ward (head), tight end Rob Abiamiri (groin) and wide receiver Matt Cherry (shoulder) did not play for the Ravens.

Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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