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Of Ravens and Titans

7-28-01, 7:40 a.m.


GEORGETOWN, Ky. _ This is the second installment of defensive captain Takeo Spikes' twice-a-week diary for during training camp.

About three nights a week in our quad, we have what we call "Movie Night." We break out our old films from high school and college and relax out. It loosens us up a little bit. It makes the night go by fast. Brian Simmons was supposed to bring his high school tapes, but he chickened out.

The other night was my night, so I put on when we (Auburn) played Tennessee for the SEC championship my last year. We got beat something like 31-30, but it was a great game and it was my last winning season. So maybe I can go back and learn something.

It gets me pumped up for this season It makes you want to come back and play some Bengals' games.

(Ravens running back) Jamal Lewis was playing for Tennessee. Damn right it makes me think about Baltimore. I already told him. He's tried to tell me, "Same old stuff, just a different day."

This is our fourth year together in the same quad. All linebackers who came in '98. B. Simmons, Steve Foley, Adrian Ross. There's a main room with a big screen TV we rented and everyone has their own bedroom. We also have two bathrooms and a kitchen.

It's cool because we do the whole nine yards. The movies are kind of a tradition with us. In that SEC championship,

we were changing defenses against Peyton Manning and were playing a 3-4 a lot with zone blitzes. I told Simmons to watch how I was playing safety on one play and how I covered my half of the field. I ran right with the guy and I told Simmons, "I look like you out there, now."

I caused at least two fumbles in that game and that's a reminder that I had only one forced fumble last year after getting four the year before that.

It's just the little things, like making sure you complete the tackle. Instead of going for the knees, shoot up around the arms using both hands and if you keep doing that, something is bound to happen for a turnover. It's all hand placement.

We like to take something back that's funny the next day. Our quarterback in that game was Dameyune Craig and he was like 88 percent of our offense. Carolina has to give him a shot this year.

Willie Anderson, who also went to Auburn, loves Dameyune Craig. He thinks he's great. So I told Adrian and Brian when they see Willie tomorrow, to rag on Craig and tell him the guy can't do anything. That runs deep for Willie. Both guys are from Mobile, Ala.

The four of us in the quad are pretty close. If something happens out on the field during the day, we get together and talk about it in the room and bring it to Coach Duff (defensive coordinator Mark Duffner).

Like Friday during the walk through in the morning. I don't want to get too specific, but there's a coverage where we think I should play a certain technique with the safeties over the top.

Adrian's the clown. The man of many trades. An actor. He's usually got the TV remote watching movies or playing video NFL games.

Foley always comes in for a minute and then leaving the big room to talk on the phone for a couple of minutes, then he comes back. B. Simmons likes to watch the news channels and just be kind of quiet. But he's the instigator, the critic. He throws gas on the fire.

We usually get out of the night meetings at about 9:30. Curfew is at 11 so that gives guys time to run out and maybe get something fast to eat and bring it back.

A lot of times, we'll watch movies after the football tapes. After watching Tennessee beat us, Adrian put on "Remember the Titans."

Great movie. One of my all-time favorite football movies. I'll tell you, Coach (Dick) LeBeau is one of the greatest motivators. But Denzel Washington might give him a run for it in the movie.

We like to remember some of the lines and then the next day use them to keep it loose.

In "Remember The Titans," Julius, the black defensive end, and Gary, the white linebacker, are about to come into a bond. The white guy says, "Strong Side!" and the black guy says "Left S - iiii - de!"

So now, the next day, we're on the field stretching and Krummy (Tim Krumrie) said, "OK, down the right side to the left side," and Ross said, "Strong S –iii –de!" You always find stuff to relate it, too.

I wouldn't say Dick's practices are harder than what Bruce (Coslet) had us doing. That's just what training camp is. It's busy. There's not much time.

After we started watching "Remember the Titans," I fell asleep in the chair out in the main room. I woke up by myself. My head was all the way back against the wall. Everyone had gone to sleep in their rooms and the movie was still going. That's how tired you can get down here.

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