McAlister knee-deep in advice

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

July 30, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun reporter

At the age of 31, Chris McAlister is viewed by his younger teammates as a wise veteran brimming with sage advice.

Just don't tell that to the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

"I still feel like one of the young guys," he said after yesterday's morning practice at McDaniel College in Westminster. "They look up to me in a way that at times catches me off guard, and they ask questions and they ask for advice and I give all the help that I can give. To that aspect, it kind of makes me appreciate being able to play as long as I have, that I can help someone else and try to give them the knowledge that I have."

This summer is uncharted territory for McAlister, who is coming off a major injury (a strained right knee) for the first time in his 10-year career. Before last season when he missed eight games, McAlister had sat out just six games in eight years because of injury.

McAlister, who credits God for his having to endure just one major injury since he began playing football at the age of 8, said his knee is 100 percent healthy, saying it is as "100 as 100 [percent] can be." A healthy McAlister would be a boon for a Ravens pass defense that ranked 20th in the league in yards allowed (222.3 per game) and tied for 26th in passing touchdowns surrendered (27).

"Chris is fine," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "I love it because he's working through it, and he's doing an outstanding job. It's good to see a smile on his face, and when he runs out there, I feel pretty confident."

Injury update

Less than 24 hours after hobbling through the lobby of the team hotel with a heavily wrapped left leg, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg participated in yesterday's morning practice. Gregg took part in individual drills and even lined up in his usual position during full-team contact drills.

Linebacker Edgar Jones left the morning session early with what appeared to be a right leg injury and didn't participate in afternoon drills.

Linebacker Dan Cody missed practice and wore a brace on his right foot.

Wide receiver Demetrius Williams had the brace on his lower left leg removed, and he walked around the practice field with little difficulty.

In addition to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right knee), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (right ankle) and running backs P.J. Daniels (cramps) and Cory Ross (injury undisclosed), fullback Justin Green, tight end Aaron Walker and rookie wide receiver Patrick Carter were absent from the morning session.

End zone

During field-goal drills, incumbent Matt Stover converted attempts of 20, 31 and 50 yards but banged a 40-yarder off the left upright. Rookie Piotr Czech was successful on all four of his tries, from 20, 30, 41 and 51 yards. ... Former Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary visited practice yesterday morning. ... Yesterday's afternoon session, scheduled to begin at 2:45, ended at 3:40, marking the shortest practice of the John Harbaugh era.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

Q&A

A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., who spent the previous two seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Anwar Phillips attended Northwest High in Germantown and Penn State. The cornerback relaxes by watching television.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?

A: Rescue Me. It's cool to me because they show everybody's off-the-job situation, and when they come together in the firehouse, they're just one big family. They work to accomplish everything, and that's pretty much what you're trying to do in football. Everybody on the team has their own situation, but when you get on the field, theres a [sense of] peace from what you've got. Plus, the drama is pretty funny.

Q: If you weren't playing football, would you consider becoming a firefighter?

A: [Laughs.] No, I got a degree in labor and industrial relations, so I'd probably be managing a company or something.

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