- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

PITTSBURGH — Plaxico Burress’ one-man domination over Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister has reached five straight games.

McAlister, the Ravens’ best cover cornerback, cannot handle the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 6-foot-5 receiver. Burress caught six passes for 116 yards yesterday. In his last five games against the Ravens, Burress has 26 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns.

Late in the second quarter with the Steelers leading 6-0, Burress delivered the game’s biggest play when he snagged a 47-yard bomb from quarterback Tommy Maddox that put the ball at the Ravens’ 8. Two plays later, Maddox found wide receiver Hines Ward for a 4-yard touchdown toss that made it 13-0 at halftime.

For the game, Maddox completed 21 of 29 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns against the Ravens’ shell-shocked secondary.

Following the game, McAlister stormed out of the Ravens locker room refusing to speak to the media.

“The whole time me and Plax were out there saying, ‘y’all going to give us some respect, someway, somehow,’” said Ward, who finished with nine receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns. “That’s all I kept hearing out of Plax’s mouth — he was telling everybody.”

Kind words for naught

Before the game, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis went up to Steelers linebacker Joey Porter to offer his condolences after getting shot in the buttocks Aug. 31 in a drive-by shooting outside a Denver bar.

According to Lewis, Porter was not receptive.

“My words to Joey Porter were, ‘you’re in my prayers,’” Lewis said. “As soon as I said that, he yelled out, ‘you’re in my house.’ I then said, ‘Joey, I’m consoling you, I never want to see a player go down like that.’ He said, ‘I don’t care, it’s my house.’ Why would I argue with someone who’s done nothing in this league.”

Welcome back, big guy

Orlando Brown, the victim of one of the more freakish incidents in NFL history, returned to the field yesterday after sitting out the past three seasons. Brown, the Ravens’ 6-foot-7, 350-pound right tackle, played the second and fourth quarters while rotating with Ethan Brooks.

Brown was playing for the Cleveland Browns when he was struck in the right eye by a weighted penalty flag thrown by referee Jeff Triplette in a Dec. 19, 1999 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens signed him in the offseason hoping the mauling, physical blocker can regain his form.

“I played the second quarter and fourth quarter, I don’t like that, but I have to do what the coach tells me,” Brown said. “The more games I play the better shape I’m going to be in. I’ve been out of the NFL for three years, I don’t think I played bad, but I know I can play better.”

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