Anderson gets call, responds with big gains

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Rolle, Clayton leave in first quarter with ankle sprains

Ngata hurts knee

August 20, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

There is no running back controversy with the Ravens, but Mike Anderson showed flashes of his former self last night.

Anderson, who is listed second on the team's depth chart behind Willis McGahee, displayed power and field vision in gashing the New York Giants for 37 yards on three carries in the Giants' 13-12 win at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I felt fresh," said Anderson, who did not carry the ball in last week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. "It's easy to get camp legs after 2 1/2 weeks of camp, but I felt good. Everybody did their job."

On the Ravens' first play of their third offensive series, Anderson rumbled behind rookie right guard Ben Grubbs for an 11-yard gain. On the ensuing play, Anderson went up the middle for 21 yards - the offense's second-longest rushing play of the preseason.

Anderson capped off three consecutive runs with a 5-yard foray up the middle.

Anderson outperformed McGahee, who rushed six times for 3 yards and was stopped for a loss three times. But barring injury, McGahee will be the Week 1 starter.

Anderson steered clear of hinting for more playing time.

"I'm not even going to get on that one," Anderson said. "I'm here, and to me, it's not about the individual. It's about the team. I just like to keep myself mentally attuned to what's going on and physically in shape and just be ready whenever they call upon me. That's what it's about."

Coach Brian Billick was in no mood to look for positives.

"The first half, I thought we ran the ball OK, but it was all offset by the penalties," he said. "It doesn't do you any good to crank off a 25-yard run and then come back and jump offsides on first down."

Injury report

Cornerback Samari Rolle and wide receiver Mark Clayton went into the locker room in the first quarter for X-rays on their ankles, but the X-rays were negative. Team officials later said Rolle and Clayton had sprained ankles.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata apparently banged his knee on the turf and had to put ice on it. But the injury was considered minor.

Nickel back Corey Ivy replaced Rolle, and Derrick Martin, who was inactive for eight of the team's first 11 games last season, was the first player in as the fifth defensive back.

"It keeps me going," Martin said. "I just want to help the team as much as I can."

Ivy was covering Giants rookie wide receiver Steve Smith when Smith caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning, who split Ivy and free safety Ed Reed early in the second quarter.

Clarence Moore joined Demetrius Williams in the offense's two-receiver set. Moore caught a pass for 4 yards in the first quarter.

First start, first mistake

Rookie Ben Grubbs made his first start last night.

The team's first-round selection in April's draft started at right guard in place of Chris Chester, who was sidelined by a sprained right foot. Grubbs' most notable mistake was moving before the ball was snapped on the first play from scrimmage.

"I was just excited, and the first play showed it when I jumped offsides," Grubbs said. "It was national TV and I was playing with the starters. I just tried to take advantage of the opportunity they gave me and capitalize on every situation that I had."

Settling in

Kicker Rhys Lloyd didn't need much time to acclimate himself to the Ravens.

Lloyd, a native of Dover, England, who was held up until the last day of training camp because of work visa issues, converted field goals of 40 and 38 yards and sent five kickoffs into the end zone, two resulting in touchbacks.

"It was a long process but I'm happy to be here," Lloyd said. "I'm glad to get a game under my belt now and I can go in and relax. I only had one day of practice, so I'm very happy with how it went the first day."

Penalty problems

After incurring just three penalties for 23 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles last Monday, the Ravens committed 11 penalties for 66 yards last night. Seven of those penalties were assessed on the defense.

"You want guys to be passionate," Billick said. "We keep talking about that, but it's got to come with some focus. We didn't have focus on either side."

End zone

In the competition for the No. 3 quarterback role, Drew Olson threw just four passes, completing one for 6 yards in the third quarter. Rookie Troy Smith played the fourth quarter, completing four of eight passes for 60 yards. ... Safety Gerome Sapp, who registered a sack against the Eagles, pulled down Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen in the third quarter. He leads the Ravens in sacks. ... Rookie Yamon Figurs had a 52-yard kickoff return early in the fourth quarter. ...

edward.lee@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Patrick Gutierrez contributed to this article.

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