- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2002

BALTIMORE Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Chris Redman will undergo an MRI today on his back to determine what is causing the shooting pain down his right leg.
Redman became a last-minute, game-time scratch and veteran backup Jeff Blake started in yesterday's disastrous 31-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Blake was given less than 48 hours notice that he would start.
It didn't seem to bother him too much. Blake completed 29 of 50 passes for 298 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Blake's 50 pass attempts tied for third-most in team history.
"That's tough to do when you put a quarterback where he's had minimal or no reps," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I'm not making excuses for Jeff, but that's the toughest thing you can ask a quarterback to do is to take none of the reps during the course of the week and then have him come in and execute effectively."
On Friday, Redman started experiencing stiffness in his lower back. He didn't participate in the Ravens' pre-game walk-throughs on Friday and Saturday. He was back was still stiff yesterday and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh gave Blake the nod.
"It was my lower back last week and Friday I must have hit a nerve or something because there was a sharp pain down my leg," Redman said. "My whole foot was pretty much numb. When you wake up in the morning and have that tingling feeling and you try to walk and you fall, that's kind of how it was. When it went down to my foot, I'm having trouble planting on it."
Double ejection
The Ravens will make this trade every time: nickel back James Trapp for Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Trapp and Burress were both ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike behavior with 52 seconds before halftime and the Steelers holding a 28-3 lead.
The incident happened when Trapp intercepted a Tommy Maddox pass intended for rookie Antwaan Randle El. With one arm, Randle El slammed Trapp down like a ragdoll on the Steelers sideline.
Trapp took exception, had words with the Steelers and pushing started. During the scrum, Burress was knocked to the ground and according to the receiver Trapp stomped on his head. Burress said he had his helmet pulled off by another Raven.
Up until that point, the 6-foot-5 Burress caught touchdown passes of 20 and 9 yards and had five receptions for 55 yards for the game.
"You just think about yourself first and I am a lot more important to my team than [Trapp] is to his team," Burress said. "[but when someone is] literally trying to hurt you, that puts you in a tough position. It's a football field, man. That right there is just total disrespect. That dude has no respect for me."
Trapp was unavailable for comment after the game.
More Plaxico
Ravens second-year cornerback Gary Baxter, like Trapp, has no love loss for Burress. Baxter went as far to predict a much different result when the two teams meet in Pittsburgh later this season.
"Burress is just another receiver that we face," Baxter said. "We've already faced Keyshawn Johnson and Jimmy Smith. Burress? He is not an elite receiver to me, period. That's why this whole secondary and this whole team is going to see him again."
When told of Baxter's comments, Burress asked: "Who is Gary Baxter?"
Burress was told Baxter played cornerback and then the receiver replied: "OK, he wasn't even in the scouting report. I don't know who Gary Baxter is. What number is he?"
He's 28.
"He's terrible," Burress said.
Apparently Burress doesn't think much of the whole Ravens secondary. Burress, who made a spectacular diving 20-yard touchdown catch over Chris McAlister, the Ravens other cornerback, got into a war of words with McAlister.


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