By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 15, 2002
Some alignment difficulties
Remember the woes the Bucs offensive line had against Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense last year when Brad Johnson was sacked 10 times? Well, the 3-4 is back with the Ravens. Any concerns?
"We put in new pass plays every week," Johnson said. "Obviously, we try to change up our blocking schemes against every team we play. The 3-4 defense presents a little different challenge for you but it's nothing we haven't practiced for."
-- Linebacker Shelton Quarles isn't the only player on the field today who "celebrated" his birthday on Sept. 11. Ravens rookie safety Ed Reed, formerly of the University of Miami, turned 24 on Wednesday.
-- Fullback Mike Alstott needs 7 rushing yards to reach 4,000 and 2 receiving yards to get to 1,500 for his career.
-- In his seven seasons, defensive tackle Warren Sapp has sacked 31 quarterbacks, a list that does not include Baltimore's Chris Redman. Stay tuned.
THE LEARNING CURVE
Back on the bench with the return of Cosey Coleman, guard Todd Washington resumes his role as the offensive line's roving backup. Washington once again can be called upon to fill in for Coleman, center Jeff Christy or left guard Kerry Jenkins.
His experience as starting right guard didn't pan out the way he wanted.
"I didn't play as well as I should, and I'm disappointed in myself for that," Washington said. "Granted, I was in a new position and had a (sore knee), but I can't cry over that. It's useless. They expect me to get the job done, hurt or not."
Washington played with the first team for the entire preseason and in the opener. He committed two costly penalties against the Saints, a 15-yard personal foul in the second quarter and unnecessary roughness early in the fourth quarter. He said he has learned from the experience.
"A lot of patience," Washington said. "There were plenty of times in the week when I was trying to break somebody's neck and jump all over them and I have to be patient. They were (pointed out to me). The (personal foul) was just one of those things when I fell into it. It wasn't intentional. Now as for the other one, was the play over? Probably. Did the whistle blow? No."
NUMBERS DON'T LIE
5.7: average rushing yards for Alstott last year against the Ravens.
6: times the Ravens have held opponents to 10 points or fewer in the past 17 regular-season games.
19: NFL-record number of rookies on the Ravens this season.
37: passes attempted by Redman through three years in the league.
52: passes attempted by Johnson against the Saints last weekend.
1,087: career tackles for Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis through 92 games (11.8 a game).
THE LAST WORD
"They were coming. If you go back and watch that film, (the Saints) were sending six (defenders) at a time, you know really getting at Brad Johnson and that was big. You know, Brad Johnson's not the most mobile quarterback in the league and I think the Saints knew that, and they really got after him and really threw some schemes at the offensive line that shook them up. ... Honestly, that's what we do anyway."
-- Lewis on vulnerability he saw in Bucs after watching tape of Saints game
Back to the Bucs
Walker will stick around
Kickin' back: Never an embarrassing moment
High Profile: Aaron Stecker
Chucky's Chalk Talk
Ravens mortgaged future for title, with no regrets
RaysIt's 100 down, more to come
Vaughn sits, waits, doesn't complain
Uptons anticipate a smooth transition
LightningFedotenko brings color to Lightning
Prospect lights up scrimmage
Florida remedies few weaknesses
As ugly as can be for Bulls vs. Hogs
College football: Sick child receives valuable gift
Special teams make progress for UF
Weather delays 1st half
Local star steps in for Terps
Sloppiness doesn't cost Miami in rout of Temple
Big East: Syracuse rebounds against overmatched R.I.
ACC: Tiger defense preserves victory after late fumble
Around the State: Printers leads FAMU at Riverfront Classic
Around the nation: Nevada quarterback helps knock off BYU
Big Ten: Freshman Clarett spurs Buckeyes
Big 12: Trojans give Buffs little in trouncing
Irish squeak by Wolverines
SEC: Texas Tech sets Big 12 mark against Ole Miss
S.C. miscues lift Bulldogs
C-USA: West Virginia escapes Cincy's comeback specialist
Pac-10: Oregon continues mastery of Idaho
USF stumbles badly out of the blocks
Arkansas' blitz, mistakes silence Bulls offense
Rams will not abandon their confidence game
NFL Game Day: Week 2
Tough times near end for Tampa Bay Classic
A threat has little effect on Fleisher
Two-time titlist top qualifier for World Team Challenge
Battle in Texas to decide IRL
Montoya has fastest F1 lap
Montgomery breaks world record in 100
Highs and Lows
Rivera is upbeat over BP session
NL: Risk pays off for red-hot Cards
AL: A's silence Mariners bats again
Cold spells may doom Red Sox
Depth the difference as Jaguars, Tigers repeat
Seminole's turnaround culminates
This time, Warhawks outduel Hurricanes
Level of competition the focus for Mitchell
Second-place finish helps Bucs enjoy trip
Mustangs, Knights overcome course
Plant teams pull off sweep
Daily fishing report
Game between 'Canes, Gatorsis worth seeing every season