Ravens address special teams

Staff Writer
Posted Mar 22, 2006


OWINGS MILLS -- Frank Gansz isn’t being ignored. The Baltimore Ravens’ new special teams coordinator finally picked up a few additions Wednesday after a series of subtractions since free agency began earlier this month.

The Ravens agreed to terms with former Pro Bowl special-teams ace Gary Stills, who played for Gansz with the Kansas City Chiefs, on a three-year, $2.6 million contract. Plus, the team struck a three-year, $2.2 million deal with former St. Louis Rams cornerback Corey Ivy, another special-teams standout.

“Gary and Corey provide quality depth for our defense, and they’ll be core special teams players for us,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “They bring toughness, enthusiasm and athleticism that fit right in with the Ravens’ way.”

In particular, Stills is accomplished in kick coverage. A former third-round draft pick out of West Virginia, Stills made the Pro Bowl in 2003 when he recorded 29 special-teams tackles.

He owns the Chiefs’ career record with 148 special teams tackles including a career-high and franchise record 34 in 2002. With 7 ½ career sacks, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Stills can operate as a backup linebacker and defensive end.

Ivy posted a career-high 57 tackles last season with two sacks, an interception and 17 special-teams tackles. In six seasons, including a four-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has 73 career special-teams tackles and three interceptions.

Adding Stills and Ivy helps make up for the losses of four strong special-teams contributors: punter Dave Zastudil, safety Will Demps, tight end Darnell Dinkins and running back Chester Taylor.

Zastudil signed a five-year, $8 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens have been talking with punter Jason Baker, who visited the St. Louis Rams. Former Towson standout Sean Landeta is another possibility.

NOTES: With Ravens director of college scouting Eric DeCosta and quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel in attendance along with over 100 NFL scouts, coaches and executives, University of Texas quarterback Vince Young ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds at his personal workout. Young had been expected to run a 4.4. He measured nearly 6-foot-5 and weighed 228 pounds. Young demonstrated that he could take five and seven-step drops from under center after operating in the shotgun most of the time for the national champion Longhorns. He was reportedly accurate and crisp throughout the workout, easing concerns about his unconventional sidearm delivery. Young’ stock had been dropping because of an initial score of six on the Wonderlic that he improved to 16 on the second try. … Now that the Raiders have signed Aaron Brooks to a two-year, $8 million contract, that should close the door on Kerry Collins returning to Oakland. Collins has even less leverage now with Baltimore, which is interested but doesn't have a sense of urgency to quickly reunite him with offensive coordinator Jim Fassel. The Arizona Cardinals could be an option for Collins, whose agent has been speaking with Cardinals executives. … The Ravens still need a safety to replace Demps, but have yet to express interest in former Tennessee Titans starter Tank Williams (6-3, 223), according to his agent, Mike Sullivan … Wide receiver David Tyree -- another special-teams standout Baltimore held discussions with -- is staying with the New York Giants with a five-year contract that averages $1 million per year.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on RavensInsider.Com
URL:http://www.ravensinsider.com



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