BALTIMORE (WJZ) — He’s the cornerstone of the Ravens franchise. And Saturday night in Canton, Ohio, Jonathan Ogden will receive football’s highest honor.
Mark Viviano takes a look at the legacy of the Ravens Hall of Fame inductee.
It’s a fitting reward for the original Raven. Jonathan Ogden was the first player drafted by the team–now he’s the first full-time Raven elected to the Hall of Fame.
Standing 6’9″ tall and weighing more than 350 pounds, Jonathan Ogden was a man big enough and talented enough for a franchise to build a foundation upon.
“I can probably say it this way: If we don’t pick Jonathan Ogden with that first pick I probably wouldn’t have this job,” said Ravens General Manger Ozzie Newsome.
GM Ozzie Newsome still has his job, and the Ravens won their first Super Bowl with Ogden anchoring the left side of the offensive line, as one of the best the game has ever seen.
For 12 seasons, all with the Ravens, Ogden protected quarterbacks from oncoming pass-rushers and cleared the way for running backs. Fierce but no frills, just hard work.
“I never really looked back and said, ‘Man, if I had done this better or the other,'” Ogden said. “I always felt like I gave it my all and I was always consistent out there. I think that’s what led me to be a great player. I mean, this game’s about consistency.”
That consistency is reflected in his rewards–11 times voted to the Pro Bowl and elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.
“I just want to be remembered as the guy who was dependable, who was a good teammate, who didn’t go out there and make silly mistakes,” Ogden said. “Who you just knew was going to be there game in, game out. Day in, day out.”
“There is a lot of great offensive linemen, and there is a lot of great players that are in the Hall of Fame that are very deserving,” Newsome said. “I don’t know if there’s anybody who played the position better than Jonathan Ogden did.”
Shannon Sharpe, Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson are Hall of Famers who played for the Ravens for parts of their careers. Ogden is the first who played his entire career in Ravens purple.
Ozzie Newsome will present Ogden at the ceremony Saturday night. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, Team President Dick Cass and Ray Lewis will all be at the ceremony to represent the Ravens organization.