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By Brent Jones and Brent Jones,SUN STAFF | October 31, 2002
After an erratic preseason cost him his starting job, return specialist Lamont Brightful is now likely to get an extended chance to do what the Ravens drafted him for. Brightful is expected to be the team's primary kickoff returner for Sunday's game at Atlanta in place of Robert Tate, who fumbled twice in the 31-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "I was just waiting to get that opportunity," said Brightful, who returned the last four kickoffs for 75 yards against the Steelers. "Now I've got to take full advantage of it. I just want to go out there, do my job and try to contribute to this team."
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Derrick Joseph injured his shoulder in the second quarter of Towson's 27-24 loss to Maine on Saturday night, and he did not return to the game. But the senior return specialist could return in time for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Johnny Unitas Stadium against Colonial Athletic Association opponent Stony Brook. Coach Rob Ambrose said Joseph, who ranks 22nd among all Football Championship Subdivision kick returners with a 25.6-yard average and has returned a school-record four kickoffs for touchdowns, suffered “a small strain” that does not require surgery.
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By Brent Jones and Brent Jones,SUN STAFF | April 26, 2004
With their second-to-last pick in the seventh round, Ravens officials feel they plucked the premier player at a need position. The Ravens selected Kentucky return specialist Derek Abney with their first pick in the seventh round (244th overall), capping a day when the team found its third-string quarterback, another complementary receiver and a pass-rushing outside linebacker who should contribute on special teams. All in all, the Ravens addressed a number of their needs with players they feel can come in and compete for backup spots next season.
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By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2013
When former Gilman star Cyrus Jones Jr. finished sorting through his 40-plus football scholarships following his senior season, he concluded Alabama was the right place for him. This time of year, the big game in front of him, is why. "One of the main reasons I wanted to come to Alabama was to have a chance to play at the highest level and compete for a national championship every year," said Jones, who has made an impact in his freshman season...
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By Danny Baker | August 8, 2003
Hugh Smith Position: Wide receiver/return specialist College: South Florida Who he is: Signed by the Ravens in May as a rookie free agent, Smith, who switched from running back to wide receiver as a sophomore at USF, had 131 career receptions for 1,523 yards and 10 touchdowns. An open-field threat, he was the school's Offensive Playmaker of the Year as a junior after his four receiving TDs tied him for the team lead. Smith majored in mass communications. On his first NFL training camp: "It's exciting to be with such a great organization.
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By Mary Beth Kozak | August 20, 2002
Lamont Brightful Position: Return specialist College: Eastern Washington Who he is: He was the first of four players (195th overall) that the Ravens drafted in the sixth round this past spring. Brightful set NCAA Division I-AA records for career average per kickoff return (30.0 yards), career kickoffs returned for touchdowns (five) and average per return (26.4 on punts and kickoffs). Pre-game rituals: "Before the game starts, I'll be by myself and get my little praise to the Lord, and then I get my headphones on and get into the zone."
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,Sun Reporter | April 29, 2007
If the Ravens are concerned about losing the services of return specialist B.J. Sams for two drunken driving charges in a 14-month span, the team got some insurance in the third round of the NFL draft last night. With the 10th pick in the round and 74th overall, the Ravens selected Kansas State wide receiver and returner Yamon Figurs. Figurs, who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 174 pounds, is expected to make the team primarily as a backup return specialist and reserve wide receiver. The Ravens also added some depth on the offensive line by swapping picks with the Jacksonville Jaguars and grabbing Iowa guard-tackle Marshall Yanda later in the third round.
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By Jamison Hensley and Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter | December 29, 2006
What's more surprising: the Ravens having the 11th-ranked passing attack in the NFL or Derrick Mason ranking third on the team in catches? Mason, who set the franchise mark last season for single-season receptions, hasn't produced the expected numbers in his reunion with quarterback Steve McNair, making 63 catches for 720 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn't caught fewer than 70 passes since 2000. In Sunday's win in Pittsburgh, Mason was limited to two receptions for 10 yards and threw the ball high in the air in frustration after one catch.
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By JOHN EISENBERG | January 30, 1999
MIAMI -- What if Tim Dwight catches the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl 5 yards deep in the end zone?"I'm bringing it out," said Dwight, the Atlanta Falcons' return specialist.Seven yards deep?"I'm still coming," he said, "if I can get up a head of steam."From where, if anywhere, would he settle for the touchback?"Only if the ball is [kicked] out of the end zone," Dwight said with a shrug, as if that were obvious, and as if every NFL return specialist were such a kamikaze.But of course, no return specialist is like this one.If you caught Dwight's daredevil act during the NFC playoffs, you know what we're talking about.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,Sun Reporter | June 8, 2007
B.J. Sams is free. Free from a broken right ankle that sidelined him for the final five games last season, including the playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Free from a driving under the influence charge. Free to focus on the one thing that has meant the most to him: playing football. "I'm feeling real good right now," Sams said of his physical and psychological states. "Everything's going real well, and I'm looking forward to bigger and better things." It's a welcome respite for Sams, whose career as a return specialist has been marked by peaks and valleys.
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By Edward Lee | December 17, 2012
It had been a long time since David Reed had done something productive on the football field. It had been even longer since the last time he did something on offense. But in Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos, the wide receiver and return specialist caught both balls thrown in his direction - one for 12 yards in the third quarter and the other for 10 yards in the final frame. The receptions were Reed's first since the Ravens selected him in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 2010.
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By Edward Lee | December 3, 2012
In the first meeting between the Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens escaped with a 13-10 win on the strength of a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones in the first quarter. Keeping Jones' prowess on returns - he leads the NFL in kick return touchdowns with three this season - in mind, the Steelers did their best to limit Jones' opportunities in their 23-20 win against the Ravens Sunday. Jones returned three kicks for a total of 74 yards, but he didn't get past the Ravens' 26-yard line.
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By Edward Lee | November 29, 2012
Jacoby Jones may have sat out Wednesday's practice because of an ankle injury, but the Ravens wide receiver said there's no question that he will be available for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “I'm playing,” Jones said before Thursday's session. “I'll be on the field.” Jones, the offense's next wideout option after starters Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, said his ankle injury was not serious. “Just a bruise,” he said. “When you get something like that, there's just a little soreness that you need to get out. I'm ready to roll though.” The Ravens could lessen Jones' workload by reducing his role on returns.
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By Matt Vensel | April 6, 2012
It was hardly a secret that the Ravens were interested in acquiring a return specialist this offseason. After all, they had Ted Ginn Jr. in for a visit before he re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers and they were reportedly linked to receiver and returner Eddie Royal, who eventually joined the San Diego Chargers. But at Wednesday's news conference at the Castle in Owings Mills, head coach John Harbaugh again confirmed that the Ravens feel a dangerous returner is something they wanted to -- and still can -- add. “We're looking,” he said.
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By Edward Lee | October 10, 2011
After the Dallas Cowboys waived him on Sept. 20, Bryan McCann said he got a few feelers from other NFL employers. But the team that interested him the most - and showed him the most interest - was the Ravens. “I was definitely excited,” said McCann, who signed a two-year deal last Tuesday. “The Ravens are a team that's known for their defense, throughout the whole franchise's history. So to be able to come out and for them to want me to be a part of that defense is definitely an honor.” A cornerback and return specialist, McCann might solidify both areas.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,Sun reporter | July 29, 2008
Yamon Figurs wants more work. The Ravens' top return specialist, Figurs is intent on expanding his role as a wide receiver. So far at training camp at McDaniel College, Figurs has shown he has improved his skills as a receiver. He is running routes with more precision, and he has dropped fewer passes than a year ago. "I'm just getting into a rhythm," Figurs said. "They brought me here to play receiver, and in the offseason when we left, they told me I would be a receiver." Figurs caught just one pass for 36 yards last season but was rarely used in the passing attack.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER | August 21, 2007
For a long time, Cory Ross has been trying to persuade the skeptics to view his body of work, not just his body. He was the Colorado leader in total offense as a senior at Thomas Jefferson High in Denver. He's the only player in Nebraska history to rank in the top 10 in both rushing yards and receptions. And he was one of only two undrafted rookies to make the Ravens' 53-man active roster last season. (Cornerback Ronnie Prude was the other.) But the first thing NFL personnel directors, scouts and fans seem to focus on is Ross' 5-foot-6 frame, which ties him with San Diego Chargers return specialist Darren Sproles as the shortest player in the league.
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By Gary Lambrecht and Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF | September 8, 2002
COLLEGE PARK - Maryland sophomore wide receiver Steve Suter's most memorable break last season was one he would rather forget. But a year after fracturing the index finger on his left hand and missing the final eight games of the Terrapins' 10-2 season, Suter is showing a knack for breaking into the clear as a return specialist. Take last night's 44-14 rout over the visiting Akron Zips at Byrd Stadium. For a brief moment late in the first quarter, after Akron quarterback Charlie Frye and wide receiver Nick Sparks had combined on a 65-yard touchdown to cut the Terps' lead to 14-7, the Zips had climbed back into the contest.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER | November 9, 2007
There won't be any surprises for Cory Ross this time. Unlike last season when Ross was thrust into the role of return specialist after B.J. Sams fractured his right ankle, Ross said he has been preparing himself if a knee injury prevents rookie Yamon Figurs from suiting up Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. "I've been doing that the whole year, preparing for times like this, because you never know who's going to go down," Ross said, adding that he has been taking all of the kickoff and punt returns in practice this week.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER | August 21, 2007
For a long time, Cory Ross has been trying to persuade the skeptics to view his body of work, not just his body. He was the Colorado leader in total offense as a senior at Thomas Jefferson High in Denver. He's the only player in Nebraska history to rank in the top 10 in both rushing yards and receptions. And he was one of only two undrafted rookies to make the Ravens' 53-man active roster last season. (Cornerback Ronnie Prude was the other.) But the first thing NFL personnel directors, scouts and fans seem to focus on is Ross' 5-foot-6 frame, which ties him with San Diego Chargers return specialist Darren Sproles as the shortest player in the league.
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