Sams doesn't comment on possible suspension

Raven won't reveal whether he was in substance abuse program

October 06, 2006|By Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee | Jamison Hensley and Edward Lee,Sun reporters

Two days after his second arrest on a charge of driving under the influence, Ravens return specialist B.J. Sams wouldn't say whether he's subject to a suspension from the NFL.

If he had been placed in the NFL substance abuse program after his first arrest - which is considered strictly confidential by the league - Sams could receive a four-game suspension for his second drunken driving charge in the past 14 months.

When asked by The Sun about his legal issues and the possibility of being suspended, Sams repeatedly said: "I'm good. I'm good."

Ravens coach Brian Billick indicated that Sams would remain the Ravens' return specialist for Monday's game in Denver as well as the foreseeable future.

"Until the court process plays itself out, it would be inappropriate for us or the league to do anything," Billick said.

Sams ranks second in the league in kickoff returns (30.9-yard average) and ninth in punt returns (10.8).

"I'm ready to go," Sams said. "I'm preparing for this week just like any other week."

Billick added that the Ravens offer extensive counseling for players who are dealing with off-the-field issues, but said, "At the end of the day, everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions."

Asked whether he had taken Sams into his office and scolded him, Billick said, "I'll go back to the Chris Rock example: `You never disrespect someone and hit them, but you would sure like to shake the [expletive] out of them.' "

Sams did receive some advice from linebacker Ray Lewis.

"The one thing I told him was, `You just have to make smarter decisions,' " Lewis said. "Everyone's going to make a mistake. Don't crucify yourself for a mistake. ... Just make sure that there are people around you that can take care of you, too."

Sams is the latest in a long list of NFL players who are dealing with arrests lately.

Billick took exception at how the media has painted the NFL, saying the number of players in legal trouble has been "blown out of proportion."

"In no way am I enabling or making excuses. Take any segment of the population - Congress included - and look at the percentage of issues versus our population, and I don't think it's particularly out of whack," Billick said. "It's more noteworthy and more publicized. It does need to be addressed, but I'm very proud of what this league does collectively and individually to constantly mentor players about their responsibilities."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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