- The Washington Times - Friday, August 25, 2000

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Win tonight and hope it carries into the regular season.

Preseason football never counts, but the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the best during the NFL's exhibition season over the last three seasons.

Tonight the Ravens will try to stretch their three-year, 11-game preseason winning streak when they meet the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.

From 1998 until now, the Ravens have not lost a preseason game. Baltimore's all-time preseason record is 14-5.

Asked how long he plans to use his starters, coach Brian Billick replied, "As little as I can possibly get away with. We feel good about what we are doing. If [the starters] can give me one good solid drive maybe two in the first quarter that would be great.

"We feel like we have gotten a lot done going 3-0. Yeah, we're up there to win. The Giants are 0-3, and if that changes their perspective, so be it. We're just going out there to play hard and stay healthy."

The Ravens have until Sunday to cut down to their 53-player active roster. That means they'll have to cut 12 players.

Billick said he will give rookie running back Jamal Lewis (elbow), linebacker Peter Boulware (shoulder) and defensive tackle Tony Siragusa (holdout) some repetitions against the Giants.

Lewis dislocated his left elbow on his first carry in a July 28 scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Boulware sat out of the three-week training camp rehabilitating from offseason shoulder surgery. Siragusa missed all of the Ravens' three-week training camp because of a contract impasse. Billick is hesitant to risk any of the trio in extended duty against the Giants.

Billick said he expects to see a lot of Sam Gash at fullback tonight, now that the club has waived incumbent starter Charles Evans. Evans, who suffered a torn triceps in the first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, was a key component of the Ravens' offense last season.

Evans apparently became expendable when the Ravens signed two-time Pro Bowl selection Gash, The emergence of fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo also convinced Billick that Evans could be replaced. Evans caught 32 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown in 1999. On the ground, Evans had 38 carries for 134 yards.

"[Gash] is still thinking a little bit, compared to the other guys," Billick said. "Normally, you get guys that have been around just enough to hear bits and pieces, the system he's [Gash] been with, the verbiage is really different than what we have. He's still having to work through that."

Said Gash: "I'm a blocker first. I can catch the ball out of the backfield and then run probably in that order. My main thing is to come here and help take care of the tailbacks and make sure they're not getting hit so much at the line. I really see blocking, that's the big thing."

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