Although Taylor has downplayed the encounter with his old team tonight as
Baltimore travels to play his Minnesota Vikings, it definitely means something
to the trash-talking Scott.
“It’s always exciting to play against a friend, especially 50 Cent, A.K.A.
Little Jamal Lewis Jr.,” Scott said. “I don’t want him to be able to say in the
offseason, ‘Remember, how I ran you over.' You try to eliminate all bragging
rights. That way, you’ve got ammunition to shoot with.”
Taylor negotiated with Baltimore as an unrestricted free agent this spring, but
ultimately the Ravens decided to sign veteran Mike Anderson and re-sign Lewis.
However, he wound up a rich man in Minnesota with a four-year, $14.1 million
deal, including $6.5 million in guaranteed money.
After four seasons in Baltimore, Taylor isn’t attaching a lot of sentiment, at
least outwardly, to this reunion.
"The only difference is I know more people on that team," Taylor told Minnesota
reporters. "I have more friends on that team than any other, but I'm still going
to treat it as just another game. I take every game the same, preseason or not.
"I'm going to play my hardest. Of course, they aren’t going to take it easy on
me. I’m looking forward to them coming out with their best. The Ravens have a
great defense. I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”
As one of three Vikings who used to start for the Ravens, including wide
receivers Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson, Taylor isn’t off to a fast start
with his new team. He’s rushed for just 54 yards on 19 carries for a 2.8
“Chester is a different kind of runner than we’ve faced,” Scott said. “He’s a
cutback runner, so it will be a good matchup. I plan on having a little
something extra for 50 Cent.”
COMING HOME: This marks the first time Ravens coach Brian Billick has been back
in Minnesota for a game since 1998, the last season of his six-year stint as the
Vikings’ offensive coordinator.
Billick sports a 2-0 record in Baltimore against the Vikings, but has yet to
coach on the opposing sideline at the Metrodome.
“I really haven’t had the chance to dwell on it, but I’ve never been on the
other side of that noise, which will be interesting,” said Billick, who still
vacations in Minnesota each summer.
RESPECTED: Billick used to coach Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson and hasn’t
forgotten about his former protégé.
Although Johnson, 37, is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the league, he
remains an accurate passer. The Ravens tried to acquire Johnson in 2001, but he
declined their offer and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“His whole career has been underappreciated,” Billick said. “He really knows how
to manage a team and manage a game.”
WAITING HIS TURN: Rookie quarterback Drew Olson finished eighth in the Heisman
Trophy balloting last year for UCLA, but that hasn’t earned him any special
distinction or playing time in the NFL.
Ranked behind Brian St. Pierre as the fourth quarterback, Olson is unlikely to
make his NFL debut tonight. He’s likely to get one final chance to prove himself
against the Washington Redskins next week in the preseason finale.
“It’s a learning experience for me whether I’m out on the field or not,” Olson
said. “I prepare each week like I’m going to play. I’m just looking forward to
showing what I can do against the Redskins.”
TRAINING ROOM: Offensive guard Brian Rimpf (hamstring), wide receiver Matt
Cherry (shoulder), safety B.J. Ward (migraines) and running back Jamal Lewis
(hip) are unlikely to play. It’s unclear if safety Gerome Sapp, who missed
practice with a stomach ailment, will be available.
QUICK HITS: Starting wide receiver Mark Clayton has returned punts and kickoffs
in practice this week and is eager to perform that extra duty in games. … The
Ravens won’t wear their alternate black jerseys this season.
Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times