Next test for Pashos: Burgess

Ravens notebook

Right tackle matched up with Raiders' Pro Bowl end

Ravens & Nfl

September 14, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Reporter

Another game, another assignment for Tony Pashos.

The starting right offensive tackle for the Ravens, a subject of questions about the offensive line's effectiveness, exemplified the unit's solid effort in the team's 27-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

But the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Pashos said he can't afford to coast against the Oakland Raiders, who visit M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday at 1 p.m.

"It's in the past now," Pashos said of the Tampa Bay game. "We've got a different opponent. You've got to have amnesia in this game and move on."

As much as the focus last week was placed on the matchup between left tackle Jonathan Ogden and Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice, this week's spotlight has settled on Pashos, who will face Raiders defensive end Derrick Burgess.

Oakland's most disruptive force on defense, the 6-2, 260-pound Burgess earned his first Pro Bowl berth in his first season with the Raiders after compiling a league-leading and franchise-record 16 sacks.

Burgess, who also had 56 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, registered five tackles in the team's season-opening 27-0 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Pashos said he won't concentrate solely on Burgess' pass-rushing skills.

"Pass-rush specialist? What does that mean -- that he can't play the run?" Pashos said. "Of course he can. He's in the NFL starting on the D-line. He can play the run, too. Like I said, they're all great players, and you've got to respect them."

Pashos can count on getting advice from starting right guard Keydrick Vincent, who played with Burgess at Mississippi.

"Derrick's a hard worker. He led the league in sacks. He's an Ole Miss guy, so that's what we do," Vincent said. "But it's a great challenge, and I'm excited for Tony to go out there and showcase his talents against a player like that."

Introductions needed

Ravens coach Brian Billick is expected to talk to the team's veterans this week about how to handle pre-game introductions for Sunday's home opener.

During the preseason, the Ravens were introduced as a team. But there has been a welling of support for individual introductions because the players feel that they create more energy inside the stadium.

If the team reverts to individual introductions, it is expected that middle linebacker Ray Lewis will resume his traditional dance.

Injury report

Eight Ravens were listed as questionable for Sunday. They are running backs Jamal Lewis (hip) and P.J. Daniels (thigh), tight ends Todd Heap (back) and Daniel Wilcox (back), center Mike Flynn (ankle), safety Ed Reed (thigh), defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (thigh) and kicker Matt Stover (back).

Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (foot) and defensive end Kevin Huntley (foot) are listed as questionable. Quarterback Aaron Brooks (knee), tight ends James Adkisson (knee) and John Madsen (ankle) and linebacker Sam Williams (ankle) are probable.

Diminishing skills?

Billick had an answer for critics who commented on the "diminishing skills" of Ray Lewis, who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week yesterday, his first such honor since 2003.

"Those who think they have seen diminishing skills ought to talk to Mr. Pittman and Mr. Williams down in Tampa," Billick said of Buccaneers running backs Michael Pittman and Cadillac Williams, both of whom were on the receiving end of a few harsh tackles by Lewis. "They'll attest that the skills look pretty good."

Jinxed kicker?

Stover, who was 2-for-2 in the opener, says he was unaware that he had successfully converted 22 consecutive field-goal attempts dating to Oct. 31 until he was informed of the streak by his wife, Debbie, on Monday night.

Feigning shock that Debbie's information may have jinxed him, Stover -- whose career best is 23 in a row between Oct. 13, 1994, and Sept. 17, 1995 -- said he didn't mind being told about the streak.

"Records come when you perform well, and that's my biggest key -- to perform as well as I can now to give this team the best opportunity to win," he said. "I've had it before. Let's just keep going." edward.lee@baltsun.com

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