Tony Siragusa Learned Life Lessons from Football

June 16, 2010 | Ryan Chell

Tony Siragusa
Former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa spent 12 years in the NFL, including five here in Baltimore, where he was an integral part of the Ravens Super Bowl run and their historic defense. It was through that decade-plus of playing football that Siragusa learned lessons that made him not only a better football player, but a better person and an even better dad.

Siragusa, now a sideline reporter for FOX NFL Sunday, spent a few minutes with Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Wednesday morning to talk about the state of the current Ravens team as well as a promotion Sears is running in an effort to recognize dads out there who go above and beyond to build a better community without always getting the credit for doing so.

Siragusa told people to go to to nominate a dad out there. It could be yourself, or someone you know to nominate a dad for their work in helping out the community. The winning dad, who Siragusa will choose personally, will win a 30,000 dollar prize package and the opportunity to have the Sears Blue Tool team come to their home and do some work at building up their own castle.

The whole effort is to recognize dads out there for their hard work. Siragusa, however, also chimed in about the hard work going on the Ravens OTAs the past few weeks, so much so that the NFL Players Association shut them down.

Siragusa said his coach in Baltimore, Brian Billick, never beat them up the way Harbaugh has this team going.

“Brian Billick spoiled the hell out of us,” Siragusa said. “We didn’t do anything while we were there.”

“These guys are spoiled. When you’re making 20 million a year, you gotta go sweat. John’s going to push them a little bit.”

Siragusa said that Billick didn’t do it because he was lazy or soft; he just wanted his players at their best in December and January without tiring them out or beating them up early on in the season.

He said the Ravens current staff should thank Billick for his philosophy, because Siragusa thinks that the lack of hitting in training camp and OTAs during the Billick administration kept linebacker Ray Lewis in the league for so many years.

“That’s the reason why Ray’s still playing,” he said. “Ray should send Brian a thank you card every day. He didn’t beat him up when he was younger.”

Siragusa may have spent his entire career with only two teams in the Colts and the Ravens, but he still feels like he has learned a lot during his time playing football, and he met a ton of people who had and will still have a great influence on his life.

“A lot of us aren’t as fortunate as I was,” he said. “I came in as a free agent after 12 rounds on my own terms…and met some great guys, some friends I’ll have for a lifetime. I had a great time going out and having fun, enjoying the game of football, and taking what I’ve learned from the game of football into life.”

Especially about being a great dad to his three kids.

“I felt like I made the right choices, and being a dad is a lot more important than playing another year of football.”

Tony Siragusa

Tune into the “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark weekdays 6-10 AM on 1570 WNST!