- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Spencer Folau needs no introduction to Peter Boulware; he just might need some help.
Boulware, the Ravens' outside linebacker converted to speed-rushing defensive end, led the AFC with 15 sacks this season. Folau, the Miami Dolphins' starting left tackle, played for the Ravens from 1996 until last season, but was cut in the offseason when his contract was due a large salary increase.
Folau's career with the Ravens began on the practice squad. Until last season, when he started four games, Folau's biggest contribution was working at left tackle on the scout team where he clashed with Boulware and end Michael McCrary.
Folau should know Boulware.
"Spence is going to have his hands full," Ravens Pro Bowl tight end Shannon Sharpe said of Sunday's interesting matchup between former teammates. "Pete has been begging for years to put him at defensive end and this is what he likes to do. He is one of the premier pass rushers in the game. I'm counting on you Spence and would appreciate it if you got a couple of holding calls and a couple of procedure [penalties]."
Boulware, 26, switched from strong side linebacker to right defensive end when McCrary was lost for the season after the Ravens' (10-6) 10th game. Boulware, who was not selected to the Pro Bowl, finished second in the NFL in sacks behind New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan's 22.5 sacks.
While Boulware was robbed of his third Pro Bowl invitation, he hasn't lost focus on the ultimate goal advancing to Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb.3 in New Orleans. Boulware has been a defensive end all of his career until the Ravens converted him to linebacker five seasons ago.
At Florida State, Boulware totaled an amazing 32 sacks in just 13 starts and then declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft after his stellar junior season. Boulware thinks the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Folau, a fifth-year pro out of Idaho, will hold his own in Sunday's AFC wild-card game at Pro Player Stadium.
"The one thing about Spence is that he's got quick feet," Boulware said. "I've gone against him for a few years in practice. He matches up well against a guy like me because I'm a speed-quick guy."
Folau's memory of Boulware is one of an essentially one-armed player who averages 10.4 sacks per season. Boulware played the entire 1999 season in a shoulder harness to support his dislocated shoulder and underwent successful shoulder surgery last February.
"Spencer and Harry Swayne have done a great job for us," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said. "Spence will be looking forward to the challenge. He and Boulware know each other. They've gone against each other. That will make it interesting."
Boulware, the 1997 NFL defensive rookie of the year, was the fourth-overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft behind Orlando Pace (St. Louis), Darrell Russell (Oakland) and Shawn Springs (Seattle). During the Ravens' improbable run to victory in Super Bowl XXXV, Boulware finished fourth on the team with 17 tackles during the playoffs.
"I like my matchup with Peter with just about everybody," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.
Folau, 28, is a natural left tackle, but never got the opportunity to play the position for the champs because of the massive presence of Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens' 6-8, 340-pound, five-time Pro Bowl selection. The few times Folau played last season for the Ravens, it was always at right tackle for Swayne, who is ironically Folau's backup this season with the Dolphins (11-5).
In recognition of his four-sack performance in Monday's 19-3 wild-card-clinching win against the Minnesota Vikings, Boulware was named NFL defensive player of the week.
Notes
Brad Jackson, a Ravens reserve outside linebacker, appeared in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday to respond to allegations that he assaulted the mother of two of his children outside her Owings Mills apartment on New Year's Eve. Court papers allege that Jackson assaulted her around 1:20p.m. when they exchanged their children. According to the complaint, Jackson threw food at her, slapped her in the face and opened her car door as she drove off … The NFL Draft order is set. The Ravens will have the 23rd pick in the first round.

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