Not that it comes as any shock, but the career of Chris McAlister in Baltimore came to an end this afternoon. For several years, McAlister was one of the elite shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion, and he was a huge part of the Ravens’ elite defensive corps of the past several seasons.
McAlister will probably be more remembered here by fans for his off-the-field issues than his on-the-field play. He was a very interesting guy to cover as a member of the media, as he described himself as the “black sheep of the family.” However, McAlister was one of the smartest guys in the locker room, and he was always aware of what was going on in and around the team.
One of Chris’s memorable statements was when he complained about how big the new facility in Owings Mills was, and how there was not that closeness as the team had at the old Colts’ building that the Ravens took over when they arrived in Baltimore.
Here are a couple of quotes from the Ravens’ front office on McAlister’s departure:
GM & Executive VP Ozzie Newsome: “First, we want to thank Chris for all he did for the Ravens in the past 10 years. He was a major contributor to many big wins, including the Super Bowl. To play the type of defense we have used here, you have to have corners who can cover one-on-one. He was one of the best at that for us. He was physical, and he could run with the best.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh: “All of us who had the opportunity to coach Chris for the first time this season have an appreciation for all the good things he did for this team through the years. He’ll be remembered by us and the fans as one of the best to ever play for the Ravens. He’s a tough guy and loves football. He’ll play again, and he’ll play well.”