Homecoming for Kemoeatu

Ravens notebook

Ex-Raven bolsters Panthers' defense

Ivy released from Pittsburgh hospital

October 13, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Reporter

When the Carolina Panthers arrive at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, the man affectionately called "Kemo" will return to his first NFL home. The Ravens, however, aren't concerned about being hospitable.

Defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu, who started all 16 games last season for the Ravens, was spirited away by Carolina, which signed the 6-foot-5, 345-pound player to a five-year, $23 million contract on the first day of free agency in March.

Yet as happy as many of the Ravens players were for their former teammate's financial boon, they also agreed that they hoped Kemoeatu will have a quiet game.

"It will be different to see him, but hopefully, he doesn't have a good game," linebacker Adalius Thomas said with a smile. "I hope he has no tackles or anything."

Kemoeatu, who signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2002, has been instrumental in helping the Panthers, who allowed 392 combined rushing yards in their first two games, prevent Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Cleveland from gaining at least 92 yards on the ground in their past three games.

"In the past three weeks, it has been tough for teams to run on us," Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers said. "We get better each week, and Kemo has been a big part of that. He is a big body in there, he plays the run, and they don't get much movement on him."

Center Mike Flynn and right guard Keydrick Vincent likely will earn the assignment of pushing Kemoeatu out of lanes and preventing him from collapsing the pocket.

Flynn said he will greet Kemoeatu before and after the game, but the pleasantries will end when the game begins.

"I had trouble with him in practice, and I'm sure it will be a struggle in the game. It'll be a war, and he's a good player," Flynn said. "It'll be a challenge, and I expect him to play his best game coming back here."

Ivy out of hospital

Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said that cornerback Corey Ivy was released from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital yesterday and was returning to the Baltimore area with his wife by car to avoid any jostling a flight might produce.

Team officials had decided to land the charter flight in Pittsburgh after Ivy, 29, complained of discomfort caused by a kidney tear suffered during the team's 13-3 loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

In other injury news, linebackers Terrell Suggs (thigh) and Gary Stills (abdomen) did not appear during the open session of yesterday's practice and both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

Tight end Todd Heap (ankle), fullback Justin Green (thigh), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee) and linebacker Mike Smith (concussion) are also questionable.

End zone

Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce was philosophical about the loss to the Broncos -- his former team. "I'm hoping, wishing, and praying that we play them again in the playoffs," Pryce said. ... The Panthers are last in the NFL in third-down efficiency, converting just 18.6 percent (11 of 59) of their opportunities. Carolina did not convert a third down in a 20-12 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

edward.lee@balltsun.com

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