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Tale of the tape: coach defends Hester
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/18/2009 12:00 AM

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Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake fired back Thursday at media coverage of Devin Hester's Wednesday comments on expected personnel and coaching changes.

Hester said he got some of his information from talking frequently with Drake.

"I said, 'Our (receivers meeting) room hasn't ever been the same,'" Drake said after Thursday's practice regarding his conversation with Hester. "There's change, always change in our room. Every year you go in that room, it's different. And that's what I heard (Hester) say on tape, but everything else went to 'coaches.'

"That's what I said and that's what he said. I heard the tape - people heard 'coaches' because that's what people want to think. But that's not what the kid said. He was made out to say that."

For the record, the question was: "How do you feel about the coaching because that's what the speculation is, Ron Turner and the offensive coaches?"

Hester replied: "I talk to coach Drake a lot. We all know that things are going to change, new people are going to come in, old people are going to leave, so we've just got to hope for the best, and at the end of the day, make sure that you do your part."

Nothing's changed: Tight end Desmond Clark was a sophomore at Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla., when Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was a senior there.

"He was probably the most dominating player in the state at that time," Clark said. "Same kind of guy he is right now, team leader, a guy you rally around, the first one out on the field. Pretty much the same guy you see now is the same guy he was in high school."

Injury update: Wide receiver Devin Hester (calf) and linebacker Jamar Williams (ankle) did not practice Thursday. Cornerbacks Charles Tillman (back) and Zach Bowman (ill), defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) and offensive tackle Orlando Pace (groin) were all full participants.

Five Ravens starters did not practice: wide receiver Mark Clayton (knee), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (foot), linebackers Terrell Suggs (knee) and Jarret Johnson (knee, back) and safety Ed Reed (groin, foot).

Three Baltimore starters were limited: center Matt Birk (neck), wide receiver Derrick Mason (finger) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (ankle).

Gone too soon: Coach Lovie Smith was saddened by the death Thursday of Bengals 26-year-old wide receiver Chris Henry.

"That just goes to show you how precious life is, and you can't take anything for granted," Smith said. "A young man, too, (with) his entire life ahead of him. That's how life goes, but it's still tough."