Nothing settled yet at fullback

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Neither Green nor Mughelli has been able to make position his own

November 02, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Eight weeks into the regular season, the competition for the Ravens' starting fullback position essentially is still open.

Justin Green and Ovie Mughelli have split starts and exchanged spots on the depth chart, but neither player has an unshakable grip on the position.

"That's what you look for, somebody that wants to step up and just take over the job," running backs coach Tony Nathan said after practice yesterday at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "We're looking for the same thing from the both of them because in this offense, both of them have got to be able to block."

When the Ravens waived Alan Ricard before training camp opened last July due to health concerns and several different offensive alignments, that opened a competition between Green and Mughelli.

Green, considered to be a better option in the passing game than Mughelli, started against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, San Diego Chargers in Week 4 and Carolina Panthers in Week 6. Mughelli, the better blocker, joined the first-team offense against the Denver Broncos in Week 5 and New Orleans Saints in Week 8.

Green was listed first on the depth chart for the team's first three contests, but Mughelli has leapfrogged Green.

Both players, however, said they are not focused on who receives more snaps.

"You can't really worry about playing time because if you do that, you'll drive yourself crazy," Mughelli said. "You've just got to do what's best for the team and do what the coaches tell you. And hopefully, by your play, you'll show the coaches that you can do more and they'll get back to you on their own time."

Added Green: "It doesn't matter who's in there as long as the job is getting done. I have 100 percent faith in Ovie as well as myself. Whoever they decide to start is what they decide to do."

Sorry, no apology

Linebacker Bart Scott said he has not called Reggie Bush nor does he plan to regarding his fourth-quarter tackle of the Saints rookie running back.

After tackling Bush in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 35-22 win, Scott threw Bush's ankles to the side. Bush promptly left the game with a sprained ankle.

Scott, who drew attention for saying that he "put a little hot sauce on the ankle," said he didn't think an apology is necessary.

"I really don't feel like there's a need to," said Scott, who later found a bottle of hot sauce in his locker. "I heard a statement that he said that he didn't think it was an intentional play and that the ankle was already hurting. I wish him a speedy recovery."

Ivy back at practice

Cornerback Corey Ivy returned to practice for the first time since suffering a kidney tear against the Broncos on Oct. 9.

Ivy, who had missed the team's past two contests, said he's still a little stiff in his back, but is on pace - according to the doctors' timetable of four to six weeks - to play again.

"Anytime you get a chance to be out there with your teammates, it's a good time," Ivy said. "But you also want to go out there and help contribute. I just have to take it day-by-day, slowly and hope for the best."

Ivy is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Wide receiver Clarence Moore (foot) and tight end Quinn Sypniewski (neck) are also questionable. Safeties Dawan Landry (knee) and Gerome Sapp (thigh) and linebacker Adalius Thomas (neck) are probable.

Missing L. Jones

Rather than revel in the thought of lining up against Cincinnati rookie offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs expressed disappointment about the absence of Levi Jones.

Jones, a five-year veteran who protected quarterback Carson Palmer's blind side, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Oct. 18 and will not play Sunday.

"Anybody that knows the history of this game knows that me and Levi have always had a battle," said Suggs, who, like Jones, went to Arizona State. "He was kind of like the big brother to me in college. So I'm kind of down that I don't get to go against him."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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