J. Lewis Has the Touch in His Debut
Baltimore Running Back Gets Plenty Of Work Early
By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
BALTIMORE, Sept. 1 -- Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis didn't have to wait long to test his right ankle Thursday night against the Washington Redskins. Lewis got the ball on the first play from scrimmage, and on the second, and again on the third. He touched the ball on seven of the first eight offensive plays, finished with 15 yards on six carries and caught one pass for four yards in his preseason debut.
"I got done what I needed to get done," said Lewis, who missed the first three preseason games, the first because he reported late to training camp (he was completing a federal drug sentence in Atlanta) and the next two because he was experiencing soreness in his ankle, which was surgically repaired in January.
"I was able to get in there with my fullback [Alan Ricard] and get everything down, get our tracks down, get some hits, go down and hit the ground. I haven't done that all camp, for the last eight months or so, since last season. It was good to get out there and get that done."
Ricard, tight end Todd Heap and linebacker Peter Boulware also took the field for the first time for the Ravens, 10 days before they open the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts. Heap, who underwent separate surgeries on his ankle and shoulder during the offseason, made one catch for six yards.
The return of Lewis and Heap was really the only positive for the starting offense, which gained only 30 yards and one first down (which came via penalty) in one quarter during the Ravens' 26-20 overtime win. Lewis was stuffed twice on third-and-one carries.
Kyle Boller, who was knocked around by the New Orleans Saints last week, emerged unscathed. He completed 2 of 6 passes for 10 yards, but two of those incompletions were dropped balls by second-year wide receiver Clarence Moore.
"We got done what we needed to get done," Coach Brian Billick said of the first-string offense. "Jamal carried the ball very well, Todd got a couple of carries, and we're pleased we got that done."
Boulware, who had not played in 20 months, made an immediate impact. He entered the game for the first time as Washington faced third and 10 early in the first quarter. Boulware lined up on the right side and battled with tackle Chris Samuels, spinning one way, then the other before finally breaking free and dragging quarterback Patrick Ramsey down from behind.
"Typical of Peter, [he] didn't quit on the play," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "It's a comfort to see number 58 [going] after the passer."
Boulware missed all of last season with knee and toe injuries; his last appearance on the field came in December 2003. The Ravens terminated his contract in May in a salary cap move, but brought him back two weeks ago after rookie linebacker Dan Cody went down with a season-ending knee injury.
"I tell you, to get out there on my first play and get the quarterback, I was awfully excited," said Boulware, who is the franchise's all-time sacks leader with 67.5. "I am proud to be here. I feel pretty good, but I still feel a little rusty."
Ravens Notes: Wide receiver Randy Hymes caught two touchdown passes from rookie Derek Anderson, a 22-yarder that gave the Ravens their first lead of the game, and a 66-yarder with 12:39 left in overtime to give Baltimore the win. Hymes has been trying to emerge from a crowded field of wide receivers. Second-year cornerback Zach Norton intercepted two passes, but was also beaten for two touchdowns by Washington wide receiver Jimmy Farris. . . .
Tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Chris McAlister, cornerback Samari Rolle (knee) and nickel back Deion Sanders did not play. Ogden, Lewis, McAlister and Sanders were held out as a precaution against injury. All five players participated in pre-game warm-ups and are expected to play in the season opener. . . .
Rookie left tackle Adam Terry, a second-round draft pick, sprained his left ankle and was taken to the locker room for X-rays. Rookie linebacker Mike Smith left the game with a concussion. . . .
The Ravens will donate $25,000 to the American Red Cross toward Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and the team will collect donations from fans attending the season opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 11. Sanders will hold a news conference on Friday afternoon to make an announcement about Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.