Team makes Saturday night practice plans


It's a first for club

Billick: `We thought we'd give it a shot'


October 31, 2007|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN REPORTER

Live, from Owings Mills, it's Saturday night - practice.

For the first time, the Ravens will work out on a Saturday night in preparation for Monday night's road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said after yesterday's practice that he changed the routine to coincide with his team's schedule coming off the bye week.

"Just the fact that it's a long week, to kind of get them in the rhythm of you have to be at your best come kickoff time Monday night," Billick said. "Like going to the West Coast, trying to keep a certain body time that allows you to do that. It's something we thought we'd give it a shot."

Not that the Ravens will be able to simulate the conditions at Heinz Field. Aside from possibly piping in crowd noise, the Ravens will practice on their indoor fields since the outdoor fields at their facility are without lights.

Wide receiver Mark Clayton is looking forward to the switch.

"It's fun, it's cool," said Clayton, who practiced some at night during his college career at Oklahoma. "Something new, it's such a long season. You come in and the schedule is always the same, over and over again. It's like `Groundhog Day.' I'm excited about it."

Linebacker Terrell Suggs is withholding his opinion until after the practice.

"I've never done it, this will be the first time for me," Suggs said. "It's going to be interesting. I'll see how it feels and I'll get back to you. They said we can sleep in [Saturday morning], but a lot of guys like to get up and get it over with."

If the Ravens win, it could become a staple in the practice routine, with another Monday night game (against the New England Patriots on Dec. 3) and a Sunday night game (against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 9).

Rolle refreshed

The bye week came at a good time - and a bad time - for cornerback Samari Rolle.

"I was just getting back in shape and everything, but we had a lot of other guys that needed to heal up," he said yesterday. "I think we'll do what we need to do [against the Steelers].

Rolle said he was just getting back his timing after missing three weeks because of an undisclosed condition and a reaction to the medicine he was taking to treat it.

But after playing poorly before making a late interception in a 19-14 defeat in Buffalo, Rolle said the bye week enabled him to put the game behind him.

"I couldn't do anything for three weeks, it was different," he said. "They did the right thing not starting me in the St. Louis game. I feel good now. Buffalo is done with. No more yelling. Just play now."

Perfect timing

Many of the Ravens used the bye week to rest. Not Jason Brown, who didn't get much sleep.

The third-year offensive guard became a first-time father Oct. 23, when he and his wife, Tay, welcomed their first child, J.W. Jason Brown Jr. The 7-pound, 7-ounce boy was born at the University of North Carolina Hospital.

"I knew only God could have planned something like that," Brown said. "We didn't even know exactly when we conceived, and when I knew we had a bye week in the middle of the season, I've been praying ever since for my son to be born during the bye week and to allow me to be home."

The toughest part was coming back to Baltimore. Already used to being away from his wife, who is in her third year of dental school in Chapel Hill, Brown had to return without his child as well.

Tay Brown plans on returning to school next week.

"She's tough," her husband said.

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