Bryant trying to get a leg up

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Defensive tackle, nicknamed `Calves,' is working hard for a spot on roster

Notebook

August 11, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun reporter

At 6 feet 3 and 337 pounds, defensive tackle Anthony Bryant is hard to miss.

But the one body part that gets the most attention is not his broad shoulders, massive arms or expansive chest. It's his calves.

Bryant's calves are 20 inches in circumference, a byproduct of doing 1,000 calf raises a day with 100-pound weights as a teenager in Newbern, Ala. Naturally, Bryant's legs have earned him the nickname "Calves" from teammates such as linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive end Trevor Pryce.

"Everywhere I go, people talk about my calves," Bryant said after practice yesterday at McDaniel College in Westminster. "When I go to the mall, I don't wear shorts because people are always staring at me. So I always wear pants. No matter how hot it is, I wear sweat pants all the time."

Bryant's ability to stuff the run is what drew the attention of the Ravens, who signed Bryant after he made eight tackles in four games with the Detroit Lions last season.

At times, defensive line coach Clarence Brooks has singled out Bryant to watch tackles Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata during drills. But Brooks said Bryant has potential.

"He's a big, strong kid," Brooks said. "He's got to learn the way we do things and how we play technique-wise and how we practice and a new playbook. Learning that on the run in two-a-days is like learning a foreign language. But he's been spending extra time, and we've been working with him on the sidelines."

Bryant's hopes of a roster spot hinge on his ability to leapfrog linemates Dwan Edwards and Atiyyah Ellison. Bryant said he knows what he has to do.

"I think I have to be more consistent," he said. "If I can be consistent and have a good preseason in the games, I think I'll have a chance to make the team."

Wilcox misses practice

Tight end Daniel Wilcox was the only absence at yesterday's practice. Wilcox, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday, still had a splint on the ankle at the team hotel but seemed to have lost much of the limp that hobbled him Wednesday.

Still, coach Brian Billick said the team would not rush Wilcox back into practice.

"Ankles are always a concern," Billick said. "Dan's pretty tough, knows how to take care of it. But ankles always worry me."

In related news, safety Ed Reed (ankle), cornerback Samari Rolle (head) and linebacker Jamar Enzor (hamstring) returned to practice. Defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (thigh) took part in individual drills and even completed some drills involving the defensive line.

Anderson accepting backup role

When the Ravens acquired former Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee in a trade this past offseason, Mike Anderson was once again relegated to backup status.

But whereas some running backs who rush for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005 might chafe at being a reserve, Anderson seems to have accepted his role for the good of the team.

"You always think you deserve more playing time, but at the end of the day, it's what's best for the team," he said. "As a player, I just have to be prepared, and if your number gets called one day, you do what you do."

End zone

Billick's update on the whereabouts of Rhys Lloyd - who is from Dover, England - was as mysterious as the kicker's absence. Asked whether there was any news on Lloyd's status, Billick said, "Who? No." ... Billick said the team is eager to play in a game after nearly two weeks of practice. "We're ready emotionally," he said. "Now mentally and physically, we've got a little work to do to get ready for an opponent. We've just now taken a peek [at the Eagles]. But emotionally, yeah, let's go play." ... The Ravens drew an announced 6,800 to yesterday morning's practice, the largest crowd of this year's training camp. ... Offensive tackle Jared Gaither did not practice in the afternoon. He said he took an elbow to the stomach, and it's not considered serious. Michael Kracalik filled in for Gaither with the starting offense.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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