Reed likely to wear radio helmet for `D'

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

April 02, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In a move that should help stop another Spygate incident, NFL owners approved a communication device for defenses yesterday. Only one defensive player on the field will wear a helmet similar to what the quarterback is allowed on offense, letting him communicate with coaches without hand signals.

"It didn't pass last year and it did pass this year," Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "So, you can draw your own conclusions."

During this past season, coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots were disciplined for taping opposing coaches' defensive signals.

"I've been for that ever since the thing with the quarterbacks came out," Belichick said.

The Ravens were among the 25 teams that voted in favor of the change (24 are needed for approval). All seven teams that voted against it have head coaches with offensive backgrounds (Green Bay, Oakland, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington).

Instead of linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens likely would give the communication device to safety Ed Reed. One reason is the device could get damaged by constant hits. Another is the Ravens could be limiting Lewis' playing time.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh suggested that the team could pull Lewis off the field on passing downs. Teams will want to give the communication device to every-down players.

"His roles might change as far as what downs he's on the field, but that's natural," Harbaugh said of Lewis. "[But] he can still play."

End zone -- Ravens safety Dawan Landry received the third-highest amount from the NFL's performance-based pay system, earning an additional $284,568, which nearly matches his 2007 salary. ... The owners tabled discussion of a rule banning a player's hair from flowing over the nameplate and number on the back of the uniform.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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