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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-24

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-24

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-24
When the Ravens (3-3) play the Oakland Raiders (2-4) at M&T Bank Stadium, cornerback Fabian Washington won't be looking for any payback.

It was during the NFL draft that the Ravens traded a fourth-round pick to the Raiders for Washington, a former first-round pick.

Actually, Washington would have done the same thing.

"I don't blame them at all," Washington said. "I blame myself. I was the one on the field, I was the one playing. If I was playing well, I would still be there right now. I was playing terrible. At the time, I would have traded myself if I was playing that bad. I asked to be traded, and they did that for me."

Washington is expected to start against the Ravens, replacing injured cornerback Samari Rolle (neck surgery).

A soft-spoken player, Washington acknowledged there would be a "little extra" in playing his old team because he still has some old friends on the Raiders.

"But I'm still taking it as just another game," he said. "I'm preparing the same way."

Washington has collected just eight tackles and zero interceptions in three starts for the Ravens.

He hasn't played nearly as much as he would like due to a sudden spate of injuries. A hamstring injury forced him to miss the preseason finale, a bulging disc in his neck sidelined him for the Ravens' 28-10 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 21, and a dislocated right shoulder kept him out of the team's 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago.

Washington, who also dealt with neck spasms, said he has been frustrated at times by his frequent visits to the medical staff.

"Me getting hurt this year is something that I've never been through in all of my years of playing football," he said. "For me to miss two games already out of six because of injury, it's just killing me."

Raiders fans felt similarly about Washington's play. After registering 83 tackles, four interceptions and 16 deflected passes in 25 starts in his first two seasons in Oakland, Washington started just three games before being benched for poor tackling last year.

Washington admitted that he allowed the temptations of a hedonistic lifestyle to distract him from football.

"Sometimes you can get a little complacent when you have a little success. A little too much partying, a lot less film-watching," he said. "I just really wasn't focused on football like I am now. All I do is football right now. I go home and watch film, watch it here, run around and practicing. It's just pretty much all football for me right now."

Washington was arrested on a domestic battery charge after last season and served a one-game suspension for his legal trouble, but coaches and players alike have said that Washington has been a model citizen since joining the Ravens in a draft-day trade.

"All we know is what we've seen of him here this year," coach John Harbaugh said. "Fabian's been a real professional. Obviously, he's a very talented guy. He's had some of the injury thing, which we want to continue to work through, and he worked hard. He's one of the better practice corners that I've seen since I've been in the league. He really practices well, and I think that reflects in his play."

Washington said he is grateful to Oakland for granting his trade request and essentially giving him a renewed appreciation for the sport that he loves.

"You always want to have success, but are you willing to work to have success? That's something I'm doing right now, and I'm just trying to take it game-by-game and improve game-by-game," he said. "I'm very happy that Mr. Davis traded me here. It's definitely a blessing to be traded to a great organization and a great defense like this. All that can do is help me, and it has."

SERIES HISTORY: 5th regular-season meeting. Ravens lead series, 3-1. The Ravens have won all three meetings in Baltimore. In their last meeting, the Ravens won, 28-6, in 2006 when they forced a franchise-record-tying six turnovers, registered six sacks and held the Raiders without a touchdown. The Ravens didn't allow a first down on 11 of 15 drives.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 24, 2008

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Kelly Gregg Name: Kelly Gregg
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Age: 31
Experience: 9 years
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