Slaughter quickly cuts up in line

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Veteran newcomer moved to front by others' injuries

August 01, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Less than 18 hours after getting his room card key and playbook, Chad Slaughter was lining up at left offensive tackle with the first offense yesterday morning.

That's how Slaughter was welcomed to his first day with the Ravens after the team signed him Wednesday afternoon. Slaughter's whirlwind journey from laying concrete to laying the wood caught even the six-year veteran by surprise.

"My head is still spinning 100 mph," said Slaughter, who played 43 games for the Oakland Raiders (2002-2006), including seven starts. "I'm just here to help any way that I can."

Slaughter, 6 feet 8, 340 pounds, initially lined up at left tackle with the second offense but was moved to the first team when rookie Oniel Cousins injured his right knee during a rushing drill.

Left tackle Mike Kracalik replaced Cousins, whose knee was wrapped in ice and did not practice in the afternoon, on the right side, while Slaughter lined up at left tackle.

"Oh yeah, that was a rabbit out of the hat," Slaughter said of his promotion to the first offense. "I had no idea. He [offensive line coach John Matsko] told me it was going to go a little fast for me. They gave me this look today, and the next thing you know, I was in there with the first team."

With rookie Joe Reitz resting an ailing shoulder, rookies Isaiah Wiggins and David Hale were left as the left and right tackles, respectively, on the second team.

Although the Ravens have not yet exhausted their search for another tackle, coach John Harbaugh said he was impressed with Slaughter's performance.

"He's played left tackle in the NFL before, and sometimes with the way rosters are set up now, there are some good players still floating around out there," Harbaugh said. "I know everybody's got guys like Chad on their short list, and in some ways, maybe some things happen for a reason. We're fortunate to get him."

No QB decision

With neither Kyle Boller, Troy Smith nor rookie Joe Flacco taking the lead in their quarterback competition, Harbaugh said the coaching staff isn't ready to name the starting quarterback for Thursday night's preseason opener against the New England Patriots.

"We'll figure that out probably two days before the first preseason game," he said.

End zone

With running back Willis McGahee (left knee) limited in practice and rookie Allen Patrick (mild concussion) watching from the sidelines, rookie Ray Rice was the only healthy tailback on the field. "We're looking at options as far as getting guys out to practice," Harbaugh said. "We don't want to overwork Willis because he's really been working hard, but the knee is tender right now. So we've got to be smart about that position." ... Harbaugh said the team would continue to respect cornerback Samari Rolle's bereavement period over the loss of his father, Harry, who died of cancer two weeks ago. "We've got a tentative timetable, but I'd rather leave that to Samari right now," Harbaugh said.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

Q&A

When Adam Bergen isn't tangling with a linebacker or trying to tiptoe down the sideline after making a catch, the tight end from Lehigh University is settling into one of his favorite pastimes: catching a flick.

Q: What is one of your favorite off-day activities?

A: I'm a huge movie fan. I try to go at least once a week and catch what's new. Back home, I try to go every Friday afternoon when the movies first come out and try to catch them right away.

Q: What's your favorite movie?

A: 300 was really good. It's an interesting movie. Spartans are kicking guys down holes and beating up on the Persian army. They have 300 guys against 30,000. That was just different, fun to watch. Pulp Fiction is also a good movie. That's, I feel, one of the best movies ever made.

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