Reporting Jerry Coleman
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome had nothing but glowing remarks to say about Offensive Lineman Jonathan Ogden, about to become the first Raven to play his entire career with the franchise and then be inducted into the Pro football Hall of Fame. Becoming a part of football “immortality” is not an easy task unless one has the work ethic and determination like Ogden. In order to prepare for games or certain match-ups he would carry his own notebook with notes that helped him along enhance his game to elite status and Newsome said, “The only thing that I knew about Jonathan is his preparation and the book that he carried about the people he would be playing against. He had his own notebook. Once he played against Tony Brackens or Jevon Kearse or Simeon Rice, he had a book, he would look at the tape, and then he would go back to his notebook, and he would compare the notes just to understand how these guys were playing and how they were playing at that point.” That is what it takes to be a HOF player, the game of football is a difficult sport as Newsome always alludes to. That just shows how much time an effort is put in to being successful in the league and being able to make adjustments when needed to. that is how you make it to 11 straight Pro Bowls
JO was the team’s first ever draft selection in 1996 going 4th overall from UCLA, where he was highly scouted. Newsome spoke about how they decided to go with Ogden, and not running back Lawrence Phillips or Wide Receiver J.J. Stokes, “Stokes was one of the guys that we were looking at, but as it is when you’re watching tape, if there’s another really good player that you can’t help but go, ‘Who is that guy?’ And that guy was Jonathan Ogden. So, you start asking questions to your area scouts, going, ‘Why is he not coming out [as a junior]?’ Well, Jonathan wanted to go to the Olympics [for track and field]. But I saw Jonathan in his junior year when I was studying J.J. Stokes.” Newsome knew what was doing even back then, and remains the backbone of the franchise
In addition to knowing how to making the right moves with running a football, Vonta Leach has officially re-signed with the Ravens and will look to continue as if he never left the team. He was released earlier this offseason due to cap room. Head Coach John Harbaugh was able to express his excitement in saying, “Having Vonta back gives you a physical presence for sure with your offense – short yardage, goal line. Also, it’s a leadership presence. Obviously, we’ve been hopeful that this would happen all along. This is not something that we weren’t hoping for, and it worked out in our favor.” With training camp inching along, the players feel confident and ready to play football in 2013.