In crowd, Patrick focused


Running back vying for backup position

July 24, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

With veterans P.J. Daniels and Cory Ross and fellow rookie Ray Rice vying to back up starter Willis McGahee, Allen Patrick is aware of the logjam at running back. But the rookie doesn't have time to concern himself with his position on the depth chart.

"I'm just trying to better myself in every aspect of the game," he said. "Everybody's pretty much in the same row right now. We've just got to come out and fight for our position, and the best man's going to win. I'm just out here trying to fight every day."

Patrick, the team's second pick in the seventh round of April's draft, has had to endure an uphill climb to be able to compete with Rice and Daniels, both of whom have been working out in training camp at McDaniel College in Westminster the past two days.

Patrick had been hobbled by hamstring injuries during the Ravens' organized team activities, which limited the coaching staff's ability to evaluate the running back.

"But since we've been here the past couple of days, he's studied his material, he's prepared, and he looks like a different kid right now," running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said. "I just hope that transcends into him keeping his growth going."

Listed at 6 feet 1, Patrick is the tallest running back on the roster. His height tends to make him a target to opposing tacklers, but Patrick rushed for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns as Oklahoma's primary ball carrier.

"I don't think height has anything to do with running back. I think it's just all about heart and determination to get the job done," Patrick said. "I'm a very physical guy, and I want to come out here to practice and show them that I'm willing to work and that they can rely on me at any point in a game."

Walker's future is now

The last time he was on an NFL team roster, tight end Aaron Walker was placed on injured reserve by the St. Louis Rams with a season-ending shoulder injury.

An unrestricted free agent, Walker fretted about the future of his career - until the Ravens contacted his agent Thursday. Two days and a workout later, Walker, 6-6, 270 pounds, was signed by the Ravens.

"You're always concerned when you go into free agency and you're injured," said Walker, a blocking tight end who - along with recently signed Adam Bergen - is expected to add depth to a position reeling from season-ending knee injuries to Quinn Sypniewski and Scott Kuhn. "You've got to think that there's a chance for you to impress and go on and go forward. This is a great opportunity."

End zone

Starting tight end Todd Heap reported to camp Tuesday night at 10 and dressed for yesterday morning's practice but left the field with general manager Ozzie Newsome.

Q & A

Give inside linebacker Tavares Gooden a plate of fettuccine and shrimp and the rookie is a happy camper. But there is one culinary dish that will drive Gooden away.

Q: Is there a food you won't eat?

A: I don't eat fish. Growing up, I always had a fish tank. One day, my father put some fish on a plate, and I asked what it was. He said, "Fish." I said, "I can't eat my pets." I always thought it was funny to eat something that was your pet. Ever since then, I've never eaten fish. I think of them as my little pets that I had in that tank.

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?

A: Eddie Murphy. That's the guy right there. Beverly Hills Cop 2, that's my favorite movie. I know a lot of lines from it.

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