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Deion arrives for physical, ready to sign with Ravens if fit

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  • Deion arrives for physical, ready to sign with Ravens if fit

    Aug. 31, 2004 wire reports

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Deion Sanders is prepared to end his retirement and join the Baltimore Ravens.


    The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive back arrived Tuesday in Baltimore to take a physical. If he passes, Sanders will sign a one-year contract laden with incentives and work toward playing in the Ravens' season opener Sept. 12 against the Cleveland Browns.

    Sanders, 37, played cornerback in his prime, but will be used as a fifth defensive back in Baltimore.

    "This game is not all that complicated. We're going to try to ingrain him as quickly as we can," Ravens coach Brian Billick said Tuesday morning. "We have to make sure we know where he's at physically. He's here plenty early enough to have an impact."

    Sanders' experience will also be invaluable to a defensive unit that will look to him for guidance. During his days with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco *****, and Dallas Cowboys -- when he was known as Prime Time -- Sanders was one of the best cover cornerbacks in the NFL.

    "To have him come here is an honor," Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister said. "There's so much that you can learn from a Deion Sanders; he's the type of guy that can take a young DB and make him grow up mentally, and prepare him for situations he otherwise wouldn't get without having the experience himself."

    Said Billick: "What a resource. I can't imagine our younger players or our guys that have not had a lot of playing time aren't going to hang on every word that this guy has to offer."

    Sanders has not played since the 2000 season, which he spent with the Washington Redskins. He retired on the eve of the team's training camp in 2001, but the Ravens are convinced he's still got enough talent to contribute to their bid to defend the AFC North title and advance to the Super Bowl.

    "Based on people we've talked to, opinions we trust, I'm sure there's no question he's going to be able to compete. At the level he competed before? There's very few of us that can do things as well as we did before. At 50, I can attest to that," Billick said. "But what he will bring to the table for us will be substantial."

    Sanders will be used sparingly at first, but that will change if he proves to be effective.

    "Everybody's made a big deal of his role here. Nickel is a beginning point; you've got to start someplace," Billick said. "But we'll expand it as we deem necessary."

    Sanders began his comeback bid after talking with Baltimore middle linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Corey Fuller, both of whom he considers close friends.

    "This man has everything. He has money, he has rings, he has fame, he has all of that," Lewis said. "But the simple mathematics of it all is he's just coming back to have fun and play football with his friends."

    Billick is convinced the flamboyant Sanders will work within the framework of the team and make the Ravens a better club.

    "This is not about the money," Billick said. "This is about a man who has a passion for a game, has a relationship with players who have a part of this, and we're a byproduct of this. We're going to gain from this."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • Yodude
    A Not-Warner-Related-Thread by Yodude
    by Yodude
    See guys....I'm really trying! :king:

    By Len Pasquarelli

    While no decision is forthcoming, and not likely to be made until Deion Sanders puts himself through a strenuous training regimen for the next few weeks, the future Hall of Fame cornerback is seriously considering a comeback after three seasons off the field.

    Sources close to Sanders confirmed for on Monday that one of the premier coverage defenders of his time could join the Baltimore Ravens as their nickel back. The possibility of his return was first reported Monday by the Baltimore Sun.

    "I never say never," Sanders said in a joint interview with the Sun and Comcast SportsNet on Monday. "It would be a wonderful thing if I got the opportunity to play."

    Sanders' longtime agent, Eugene Parker, said no timetable has been set for a decision.

    "Neon Deion" lit up NFL stadiums for 12 years with electrifying plays on both sides of the ball.
    The public stance of Ravens officials is that Sanders is retired but that the club would be interested if he decides to return. League sources said that, while the Ravens will likely downplay their interest, they are more than intrigued, and will almost certainly sign Sanders if he lets them know he is prepared to play.

    "To my knowledge, Deion Sanders is retired," Ravens coach Brian Billick told the Sun. "That kind of takes him off our radar. If he decides to unretire, like any number of other teams, we would be interested."

    Baltimore lost its projected nickel cornerback for the entire 2004 season when veteran Dale Carter, who signed with the Ravens this spring as a free agent, developed a blood clot in his lung. Shortly afterward, Sanders was contacted by Baltimore star middle linebacker Ray Lewis and defensive back Corey Fuller, both close friends of Sanders, who planted the seed for his potential return to the game.

    "As you know, with Deion, when he takes something like this on, he does it seriously," said a source close to Sanders. "So, yeah, he's into it. But he needs to test himself. He knows he can still run, that he can 'get out' with anybody, but he's going to take about two weeks to run and do conditioning work, and see how he feels. But you know, if he comes back, he wants to come back with a bang."

    He also wants to come back with a winner and, along with being good friends with several Ravens players, Sanders is convinced Baltimore can be a Super Bowl contender. He has followed the team closely and was aware, even before being contacted by Fuller and Lewis, of the untimely loss of Carter.

    Sanders, 37, has not played since the 2000 season, which he spent with the Washington Redskins. He...
    -08-16-2004, 04:48 PM
  • Nick
    Ravens angered over Porter's 'cheap shot'
    by Nick
    BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Ravens won't soon forget the hit Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter leveled on an injured tight end Todd Heap during the second quarter of Sunday's 30-13 rout of the Steelers.

    Heap twisted his right ankle on the previous play when he gingerly took his place on the line as Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller prepared to spike the ball. As Boller thrust the ball downward, Porter shoved Heap backward with a show of brute force.

    Heap could barely lift himself off the turf and was removed for the remainder of the game.

    Afterward, the Ravens were livid over Porter's seemingly unnecessary hit.

    ``It just shows what type of character that guy has,'' linebacker Ray Lewis said. ``When you take a cheap shot like that and just try to hurt somebody, it goes way outside of your character and shows what type of spirit he really has. You just pray for him.''

    Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister called Porter an unprintable name and said, ``There's no reason for anyone to take a cheap shot like that.''

    Baltimore coach Brian Billick wondered aloud why the rules would permit such an unsportsmanlike act.

    ``We are awful concerned about receivers turning their shoulders, going forward on the line of scrimmage, and we talk endlessly about pass interference down the field, but something like that is evidently legal,'' Billick said. ``How about that?''

    Porter contended Heap might have been bluffling.

    ``It looked like he was hobbling, but at the same time, I don't know if he was fake hobbling,'' Porter said. ``I've seen a lot of guys that looked hurt and kept playing. They fall on the ground and get up and run a play.

    ``I didn't hit him, I pushed him. It's not like I took a cheap shot at him and ran in there and hit him. I pushed him with my hands. This is football.''

    Porter figured the Ravens expressed their displeasure on the field as a way of getting the fans riled up.

    ``It's just a thing to get the crowd into it, to boo me and make me out to be the bad guy,'' he said. ``So I'm fine with that.''
    -09-20-2004, 09:50 AM
  • TekeRam
    Billick fired by Ravens... OC?
    by TekeRam
    OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Brian Billick was fired as coach of the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, less than a day after his team concluded a disappointing 5-11 season.
    Players were told of the dismissal as they packed up their lockers at the team's practice facility.
    Billick won the 2001 Super Bowl in his second season with the Ravens, and led the team to a franchise-best 13-3 record in 2006. But Baltimore lost a team-record nine consecutive games this season before ending the skid Sunday with a 27-21 win over Pittsburgh.
    "This is the reality of our business," cornerback Samari Rolle said.
    Billick's nine seasons with Baltimore was tied for third with Philadelphia's Andy Reid as the third-longest current run with the same team. He took the Ravens to the playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006, but Baltimore won only one postseason game since its Super Bowl run after the 2000 season.
    "Sometimes the message can get repetitive after a while," 12-year offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden said.
    Ogden said this month that Billick had informed the team he would be returning in 2008. But owner Steve Bisciotti evidently changed his mind.
    The Ravens expected to compete for a world championship this season after bringing back almost every starter from last year's AFC North champions. But injuries and a turnover-prone offense contributed to a complete collapse after a 4-2 start, and Baltimore finished last in the division.
    "This year the injury bug not only hit us, (it) hit our prime-time players," linebacker Bart Scott said.
    Billick, 53, was hired as Baltimore's second head coach in January 1999, succeeding Ted Marchibroda. In Billick's first season, the Ravens reached .500 (8-8) for the first time. Then he led Baltimore to a 12-4 record and a berth in the Super Bowl, where the Ravens beat the New York Giants 34-7.
    Billick was 80-64 as Baltimore's coach. He was the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings before being coming to the Ravens.
    "I'm not saying I agree with it," kicker Matt Stover said of Billick's dismissal, "but sometimes things have to change."
    Brian Billick... well, he hasn't shown much of an offensive side in Baltimore, but that's not the team he's ever had there. He's always had a defensive powerhouse that would grind away clock in the run game. However, he was the Minnesota offensive coordinator before that, until 1998, which I believe was the NFL's highest scoring team previous to the Pats this season. At the very least, he comes with loads of experience and could quite probably help out our run game and hopefully return to us a bit of our passing game.
    -12-31-2007, 03:07 PM
  • Nick
    Billick: 'It's a mild sprain'
    by Nick
    Billick: 'It's a mild sprain'

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- For a while Thursday night, Brian Billick experienced every coach's nightmare: an injury to a star in the meaningless last exhibition game.

    In this case, it was All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who sprained his left knee late in the first period of the Baltimore Ravens' 27-17 win over the New York Giants. He was able to get to his feet, but had to be helped from the field with his arms around two trainers.

    It turned out to be what Billick described as "a mild sprain."

    "I think J.O. is fine," he said, adding later that he didn't know if the 6-foot-9, 345-pounder would even have to undergo further examinations.

    "The doctors who worked it around said there didn't seem to be any real damage," Billick added.

    But for a while, Billick conceded, he feared the worst, until coaches who watched the replay of the injury in the press box said they were optimistic. They could see that Ogden's leg wasn't planted in the turf and turned, the way most serious knee injuries occur.

    "It's very scary," Billick said. "Your heart just sinks. You pray it will come out all right. The object of this final game is to fine-tune and not to get anybody seriously hurt. As it turned out, we played well, and we came out all right on the injury side, too. But even with what the guys upstairs said, I was still worried until I heard from the doctors."

    Ogden was hurt on a sweep to the left side by Chester Taylor. He was lying on the ground when players from both teams fell over him as his leg was in the air.

    His importance to the Ravens was never more evident than last season, when Ogden was the leader of an offensive line that cleared the way for Jamal Lewis to rush for 2,066 yards, second-best total in NFL history. A majority of the runs were to the left side behind Ogden, who has made the Pro Bowl in seven of his eight seasons and is perhaps the best lineman in the league.

    "It was very scary," echoed quarterback Kyle Boller, one of several Ravens who hurried to Ogden's side when he was hurt. "I got over there right away to see if he was all right. He's a great offensive lineman and we need to have him out there."
    -09-02-2004, 09:49 PM
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    WR Boldin on the way out of Baltimore?
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    From Alex Marvez of Fox Sports...

    A source told that the Ravens want wide receiver Anquan Boldin to renegotiate the $6 million base salary he is set to earn in 2013. Otherwise, Boldin will be released before Tuesday’s start of the free-agent signing period.

    Remember, Boldin stated this offseason that if the Ravens cut him and he didn't return, he'd retire rather than sign with another team. Will he stay true to that word?
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