Ogden, McNair target Sunday

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Injured starters seek to play vs. Cardinals

Billick clarifies comments on Jets

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

Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and quarterback Steve McNair said yesterday that they are aiming to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Both took part in practice yesterday, and although Ogden was more limited, he and McNair said their goal is to play at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I'm still trying for this week," Ogden said. "All I can do is go through practice and see how it feels. If it feels OK, then you've got to go in the game. There's no preseason for me. I've just got to be ready to go or not and see how it goes from there."

Ogden, who has not played since the second quarter of the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10, said the primary source of his pain is the left foot, which he said he sprained. The big toe that he hyperextended last season is still the same, Ogden said.

Ogden called walking on the foot "bearable."

"It's not very comfortable, and trying to absorb a bull rush is not very comfortable either," he said. "There's a lot of things that I need to be comfortable with before I really give it that old college try and go full speed again. But the foot is improving a whole lot faster than the toe did. Hopefully, that will be gone and then we'll see what happens Sunday."

McNair seems to be on a faster track than Ogden. The quarterback practiced with the first-team offense yesterday and did not seem hobbled by the pulled groin that sidelined him for Sunday's 20-13 victory over the New York Jets.

"That's my objective," he said, when asked whether he intends to start against the Cardinals. "I will go out and practice all week and see how it goes and, hopefully, it doesn't push me back. But today was a good day, and, hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day."

Two players who didn't practice yesterday were tight end Daniel Wilcox (ankle) and linebacker Gary Stills. Coach Brian Billick said Stills had his knee drained, but Billick and Stills said they were optimistic the linebacker would be able to play Sunday.

Tight end Quinn Sypniewski (neck) and cornerback David Pittman (ankle) were limited in practice.

Billick's clarification

Billick began his post-practice news conference by trying to clarify his Monday comments.

On Monday, Billick had accused the Jets and coach Eric Mangini of illegally mimicking quarterback Kyle Boller's snap count to entice offensive linemen into moving early. The Ravens committed three procedure penalties on offense.

"I was more upset that they were doing it better than we were, because we all do it," Billick said. "We all do it, and the official usually gets on it right away and stops it. That's all I was saying.

"Quite honestly, I've been oblivious to all of the [spying controversy involving the Jets and New England Patriots]. And the difficulty that created for Eric was not fair. It was not fair to Eric, and [to] those that misinterpreted it, I apologize if it was me. Those that did so purposefully have their own agenda. But Eric didn't deserve the grief he got for that. That was not my intention."

Linebacker added

In less than a day, Nick Greisen went from free agent to backup to Ray Lewis.

Greisen, who started 31 games at inside linebacker in five seasons with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed by the Ravens after the team cut linebacker Dennis Haley. Greisen replaces Haley as the backup to Lewis and Bart Scott.

"You can look at it as an overwhelming opportunity, but I look at it as just a fantastic opportunity to step in and be able to help a great defense out," said Greisen, who was released by the Jaguars on Sept. 1. "If they need me, I'll be ready. It's going to be a long week and a lot of hours in the book to learn all of the information and to pick it up as quickly as I can."

Et cetera

Former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, who was cut by the Ravens before the 2001 season and is married to The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will provide commentary for the Fox broadcast of Sunday's game. ... The team tried out Dave Ball, a defensive end from UCLA. ... Former Ravens offensive lineman Keydrick Vincent had a tryout yesterday with the Washington Redskins.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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