Live From Owings Mills: Ravens Hoping to Take Advantage of Buccaneers’ Youth

November 24, 2010 | Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday, continuing preparations for Sunday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Buccaneers have skill players who are all relatively young in their NFL careers. QB Josh Freeman (22) is in his 2nd NFL season, RB Lagarrette Blount (23) is a rookie, WR Mike Williams (23) is a rookie, WR Sammie Stroughter (24) is in his 2nd season and WR Arrelious Benn (22) is a rookie. Even the team’s more veteran skill players are relatively young, as TE Kellen Winslow II is just 27 and RB Cadillac Williams is just 28.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said the team’s youth isn’t necessarily good news for the Ravens.

“They play like a bunch of kids” said Harbaugh. “They run around and get after it and they’re enthusiastic. I’m sure its got its pluses and its got its minuses. We’ll try to negate the pluses that the youth brings to the table and we’ll try to take full advantage of whatever those minuses are.”

The Buccaneers are the youngest team in the National Football League, and continued to get younger this week when they released veteran DL Ryan Sims (30).

LB Jarret Johnson downplayed the “mysterious” nature of a young team like the Bucs.

“We’re not (team) that play each other a lot” said Johnson. “But you’ve got adequate time during the week to get familiar with them, so it’s not going to be a mystery when we get out there.”

FLACCO DISMISSES MASON SPAT: Much like Harbaugh did during his Monday press conference, QB Joe Flacco was quick to dismiss a reported physical confrontation with WR Derrick Mason during their Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.

“We were in a good battle and things happen on the sidelines sometimes” said Flacco. “I was laughing ten seconds after it was over.”

Flacco admitted that every sideline conversation is different, and some can be cause for concern moving forward.

“I guess it can be, but not between me and Derrick.”

PRACTICE REPORT: OL Chris Chester (infection) and DE Cory Redding (arm) did not participate during practice Wednesday. S Ed Reed (illness) did not participate either.

The Ravens received good news Wednesday, as S Tom Zbikowski (foot) returned to practice for the first time since suffering a bruised heel in the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Zbikowski said Wednesday he was “feeling good”, and Harbaugh said Zbikowski has a “good chance” of seeing the field Sunday in Charm City. He was listed as a limited participant Wednesday, as was TE Ed Dickson (thigh).

FB Le’Ron McClain did not appear as though he would be participating in contact drills Wednesday.

For the Buccaneers, Winslow (knee) and DE Kyle Moore (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday. LB Quincy Black (ankle), Stroughter (foot) and OT Jeremey Trueblood (knee) were all full participants in practice.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Zbikowski, Johnson, LB Ray Lewis, RB Ray Rice and LB Terrell Suggs NOW in the Audio Vault here at……Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta joined Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, you can hear that chat in the Audio Vault now as well……The Ravens will wear black uniforms Sunday when they face the Bucs……The Ravens will practice Thursday despite the Thanksgiving holiday