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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-08-04

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-08-04

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-08-04
One of the biggest concerns entering Ravens training camp was offensive tackle. Over a week into camp, there's only more questions about that position.

Jared Gaither and Adam Terry are expected to be sidelined for at least another week with ankle injuries, and backup Oniel Cousins is considered day-to-day with a knee injury.

With these three players banged up, Mike Kracalik is starting at right tackle and Chad Slaughter is working at left tackle. In fact, Slaughter suited up with the first-team offense less than 18 hours after getting his room card key and playbook.

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

"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."

One option the Ravens can rule out is bringing back Jonathan Ogden, the near-certain Hall of Fame lineman who retired in early June.

He said last week that there was "no chance" that he would be coming back to play.

"I'm not subjecting myself to that," Ogden said. "I'm happy. I just came off the golf course."

Ogden then added, "I don't miss it in the slightest. I may miss it on a Sunday or two, but I don't miss this (training camp)."

Harbaugh's camp has featured more contact than Brian Billick's summer routine.

Asked whether the increased hitting has led to more injuries, Brown said: "I'm not sure what to attribute it to. Right now, we're going hard and we want to go hard. (Injuries are) a consequence of the game."

Kracalik said he doesn't feel that the offensive line is snakebitten.

"If you have a negative attitude toward it, then more people are going to get hurt," he said. "You just have to try to stay upbeat. I personally am enjoying the opportunity."

CAMP CALENDAR: Camp concludes on Aug. 15.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 4, 2008

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Jason Brown Name: Jason Brown
Position: OG
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: North Carolina
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