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Evans looks sharp in first Ravens practice

The Baltimore Ravens were running a two-minute drill in practice Saturday when a sure-handed receiver wearing No. 85 cut to his left, caught a pass, tapped both feet within the sideline and slipped out of bounds to stop the clock.

It was a move that Derrick Mason -- good old No. 85 -- did countless times in game situations. On this occasion, it was newcomer Lee Evans.

One day after being traded from Buffalo for a fourth-round draft pick, Evans passed his physical and wasted no time making himself part of the Baltimore offense. He ran plays with the first team, caught several passes from Joe Flacco and finished the afternoon with a broad smile on his face.

"I was very excited to come here and be a part of something special," said Evans, who experienced only one winning season since being selected in the first round of the 2004 draft.

The 30-year-old Evans fills the hole created when the Ravens cut Mason last month in a salary-cap purge. Not only did he assume Mason's role as Flacco's second target behind Anquan Boldin, but he also took Mason's number, the only one left in the 80s.

Evans wouldn't care if the Ravens gave him a number suited for a left tackle, because he loves the idea of playing for a team that has reached the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. To Evans, the Ravens represent a sense of normality compared to Buffalo, which went through a variety of quarterbacks and four head coaches during his seven-year tenure.

"It's been a whirlwind in Buffalo," he said. "To come into a stable situation, it builds confidence that I can continue to get better every day."

Evans was surprisingly sharp during Saturday's three-hour session, which began outside but moved inside after it began to thunder within the opening 60 minutes.


Saturday's games

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, looking comfortable running first-year coach Pat Shurmur's new West Coast offense, went 9 of 10 for 135 yards while playing three series in his team's 27-17 win over Green Bay.

*Jake Locker threw a 45-yard touchdown pass in his NFL debut, and Tennessee beat Minnesota, 14-3, to make new coach Mike Munchak a winner in his preseason opener.

*Sam Bradford produced 17 points in four possessions with big help from a defense that jumped on Peyton Manning's backups for a pair of early interceptions as St. Louis opened the preseason with a victory over Indianapolis, 33-10.

*Cam Newton led a pair of field-goal drives in his NFL debut, and Jimmy Clausen threw a touchdown pass to Greg Olsen to help Carolina beat the New York Giants, 20-10.

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