Lewis on Hillis: “It won’t happen again”

Street Talk Lewis on Hillis: “It won’t happen again”

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OWINGS MILLS – All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis vowed that Cleveland Browns rugged running back Peyton Hillis won’t have a repeat performance after steamrolling the Ravens’ defense earlier this season.

Hillis rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in Baltimore.

"It won’t happen again," Lewis said. "I hope they understand that. We’re not coming in there to overlook them or nothing and we definitely aren’t coming in there to give him over 100 yards again. So hopefully they can buckle up all their chin straps and do whatever you need to do, but we’re definitely coming in to play a very physical football game."

Hillis registered long runs of 48 and 25 yards during the loss to the Ravens on Sept. 26. "A blind cat will find a meal every once in a while," Lewis said. "We understand the two big runs we gave up against them. My son could have run through the holes that we gave him in Baltimore.

"We just don’t do that. When you find yourself getting caught out of gaps, that’s what happens and it’s his job to run through them. But when we get back to Cleveland this weekend, it’ll definitely be a different outcome."

Hillis has rushed for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

He has also fumbled eight times, losing five.

"He complements their offensive line very well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They come off the ball. They’re very physical. They run pretty much every I-formation running scheme there is and they do it really effectively."

The Ravens allowed just 27 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The Ravens feature the NFL’s fifth-ranked run defense, surrendering just 93.6 yards on the ground per contest.

Hillis is literally a big challenge, though, at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds.

"Obviously, he’s a really talented guy," Harbaugh said. "He’s a hard runner. He’s tough to bring down. If he gets in your secondary, he’s really tough to bring down."

KINDLE UPDATE: Speaking in a serious tone in front of his locker Wednesday, Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle acknowledged that his prospects for next season appear grim based on what doctors have told him about his health status.

Kindle fractured his skull in late July when he fell down two flights of stairs in Austin, Tex., and hasn’t been medically cleared to play football.

"It’s up in the air from what they tell me," said Kindle, who’s on the reserve non-football injury list. "Basically, they’re just saying they don’t know. They haven’t dealt with an injury like mine before, so they can’t really give me a yes or a no with confidence. It’s kind of in the middle.

"It’s a hit or a miss. The whole point of it is if they don’t know if I’ll be able to take a hit just because I’m not doing anything involving contact right now."

The former University of Texas star incurred a hairline skull fracture on July 22 when he fell in the dark in the middle of the night while looking for the bathroom.

Kindle, 23, met with doctors at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday and wasn’t given good news about his neurological condition.

"Everything has gotten better and that’s why what he was telling me is so disappointing because as well as I’m doing they don’t have a definite answer for it," Kindle said.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn’t have any news about Kindle, who caught team officials off guard by disclosing the bad news about his outlook on his Twitter account Tuesday night.

"I don’t have anything new on Sergio," Harbaugh said. "We haven’t met with the doctors since the last time we talked about that. It’s just going to be, the way I understand it, how far he comes along, how fast he comes along, with his recovery."

Kindle said he doesn’t have any headaches or other symptoms from his head injury.

He’s not allowed to practice, but lifts weights, does individual drills and attends practice and meetings.

Signed to a one-year $320,000 contract with no signing bonus or incentive clauses, Kindle is scheduled to be an exclusive-rights free agent next year. The Ravens can hold onto his rights if they want to tender him.

"I mean my contract being what it is, I don’t know how that will work if I can’t play again next year as far as being here," Kindle said.

Drafted in the second round after recording 16 sacks and 176 tackles for the Longhorns as an All-Big 12 selection, Kindle said that he’s disappointed and concerned about his future.

"I always felt I would be able to play, I thought I would be able to play this year," Kindle said. "Next year, I thought it would be a no-brainer, but from what the doctors told me, it could be different."

HEAP RETURNS: Tight end Todd Heap returns to practice on a limited basis after missing the past two games with a pulled right hamstring.

Heap is expected to play this week, barring a setback this week in practice. If he can’t go, rookie tight end Ed Dickson will start again.

Meanwhile, rookie kick returner David Reed (concussion) didn’t practice.

"If they need me, I’ll be ready," said Jalen Parmele, who had a 38-yard return Sunday in relief of Reed. "It’s really just a matter of everyone executing and avoiding negative plays. You just want to move forward."

Also not practicing: offensive lineman Tony Moll (illness) and linebacker Jason Phillips (illness) as well as safety Tom Zbikowski (back).

Wide receiver Derrick Mason (ankle) was limited.

Center Matt Birk (knee) participated fully along with wide receiver Marcus Smith (shoulder).

A few key Browns didn’t practice, including Hillis (knee), quarterback Colt McCoy (illness) and nose guard Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip).

The Browns placed tight end Evan Moore on injured reserve with a hip injury.

Also not practicing Wednesday: linebacker Eric Alexander (groin) and tight end Robert Royal (shoulder).

The following players are limited: linebacker Marcus Bernard (shoulder), cornerback Sheldon Brown (shoulder), defensive end Kenyon Coleman (knee), wide receivers Josh Cribbs (foot) and Chansi Stuckey (thigh), offensive tackle John St. Clair (ankle) and guard Floyd Womack (knee).

DREW STAYS PUT: Tight end Davon Drew chose to stay with the Ravens after they promoted him to the active roster from the practice squad, declining a competing offer from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Drew convinced the Ravens to hold onto him as long as they named him to the active roster.

So, the Ravens cut offensive guard Bryan Mattison and moved Drew up.

"It was one of those things where if they don’t match it, I’m going to leave and go to the other team because it’s best for my family," Drew said. "But they wanted me here, so I stay on the roster. It’s a great experience."

A former All-Conference USA tight end at East Carolina after moving from quarterback, Drew is still learning on the job in the NFL.

"It was still kind of new to me, but as of right now, I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career," Drew said. "It’s just one of those things where you come in every day and try to get better at the position. My biggest thing was I had to learn how to practice with professionals

"It was very difficult when I first got here. I could barely get through practice because on practice squad, they really work you. It tends to pay off for you. It paid off for me, practicing every day and getting better."

Drew isn’t expecting to play Sunday.

"I doubt it, but I’m just going to keep my eyes open and be ready for whatever comes," Drew said.

Mattison cleared waivers with no calls or claims from other teams, rejoining the practice squad.

"I figure I got to have a job, too," Mattison said. "Staying here is home. I wanted to be here. They said there were some roster moves they needed to make. They wanted me around, they wanted me to be on the practice squad. There’s not enough spots for certain things."

RICE HONORED: Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.

He piled up a career-high 233 yards of total offense against the New Orleans Saints with a season-high 153 rushing yards and a touchdown and five catches for 80 yards and a score.

Rice is the first Baltimore running back to win the award since Willis McGahee last year.

"I still think I’m peaking," Rice said. "I feel like I’m peaking right now, but this team is peaking as well. It’s just one of those situations where the Ravens are on the run again."

OHER WORKING ON FALSE STARTS: Offensive tackle Michael Oher is determined to stop jumping offsides.

He has committed eight false starts and leads the team with 11 penalties.

"Yeah, I just got to be more patient and sit in there a lot longer than I have been," Oher said. "I just got to focus on it."

QUICK HITS: Joe Flacco said he believes he isn’t receiving the same treatment as other quarterbacks around the league when it comes to being protected by officials with penalties for roughing the passer. "I’ve definitely been hit there a couple of times and I don’t get the calls, and that’s all I’m worried about," said Flacco, who was kneed in the helmet against New Orleans after being sacked. "I want to get the calls so that it can put us in a good situation to score a touchdown. I was mad on Sunday because I felt like if they do call that, which they don’t have to call it all the time, but if they do call that it puts us first-and-goal again and gives us another chance to score a touchdown rather than kick a field goal. That’s what kind of gets to me." … Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed, punter Sam Koch and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata lead the fan balloting for the AFC Pro Bowl squad. Fullback Le’Ron McClain and Oher are no longer ranked first in the fan voting, falling behind Houston Texans fullback Vonta Leach and Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. The fans’ vote counts for a third of the voting along with coaches and players for all-star teams to be announced on Dec. 28. … Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was named the Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year for his success on and off the field. "I see it as almost an obligation for us," Boldin said. "I feel like we’re here for a specific reason, and it’s more than to play football. We are here to make a difference in our communities, because if it wasn’t for those people supporting us, we wouldn’t be where we are today. For myself, honestly speaking, I was a kid in need growing up, so I stay real attached to the community where I’m from and also the cities where I play football. Anybody in need, I’m willing to help, but helping kids is definitely an area I target because, like I said, I’ve been there. I know what it feels like to not have anybody around. I know it’s cliché, but kids are the future. I think If you can get to a kid early enough, you can definitely make a difference in their life."… The Ravens practiced inside despite clear weather conditions. It’s expected to be extremely cold Sunday in Cleveland with a strong chance of snow. … Former Ravens safety Ken Hamlin was signed by the Indianapolis Colts.


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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