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Nasty shares a smile with Art Modell 1998

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Chapter 10: The sad loss of a great work of Art

Posted on 21 January 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

 

“It’s a son talking to a father, that’s the way I looked at it. It’s hard talking about someone who loved you that much. It’s not as easy as you think it is. Everything I said in his ear came from my heart and I loved him dearly,”

— Ray Lewis (September 2012)

 

 

THE PAINTING HANGS OVER THE majestic fireplace at The Castle in Owings Mills and exudes the warmth of the man himself. Arthur Bertrand Modell. Founder. Baltimore Ravens.

Like several others in this purple tale of civic sports personalities who are more worthy of a book than a chapter, one could write tomes outlining the full color and complexity of the life and times of Arthur B. Modell. After nearly a lifetime of working the football business on the banks of Lake Erie beginning in March 1961 in his adopted homeland of Cleveland, the native New Yorker brought his beloved Browns franchise to Baltimore in November 1995 amidst national scorn. He was forever reviled in Ohio and beloved in Maryland. The economic reasons for the move are well documented. And Modell was clear that there were no other motives except for self-preservation, abandoning a decrepit stadium un-affectionately known as “The Mistake On The Lake” that was built in 1930. Coming to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in an attempt to finally win a Super Bowl and create equity and a trust fund for his family in the only business he owned or cared about during his life was his only motivation.

Or as he once famously said regarding Baltimore, “I didn’t come here for the crab cakes!”

Five years later, on a team with four Hall of Famers, the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV and forever changed the Baltimore sports landscape. The Ravens went from being a carpet-bagged sports franchise to a civic institution.

The unique part of the Ravens, being such a young franchise, is the amazing institutional memory that exists within a relatively new building and a teenage organization that has become the model for the NFL. Modell understood football’s value to a local community. He understood the allure of sports, and he recognized the partnership that a franchise needed to have with all elements of the fan base – men and women, children, and adults, rich and poor, black and white, blue collar and white collar, Jew, Gentile and non-believers. Art believed that a sports team could galvanize all parts of a community in a way that no other entity could muster.

And who would know more than Modell? He truly was one of a handful of pioneers who helped build the National Football League from a third-rate sport on the fringe of society in the early 1960s into the centerpiece of the American sports landscape during his 42 years of ownership.

Modell will be remembered for owning a football team in Cleveland and moving it to Baltimore, but he lived a very full life before he even arrived in Ohio as a well-heeled New York ad man who gave up his East Coast life and moved to the friendly heart of the Midwest. There, he sold football and lived football like his contemporaries Pete Rozelle, Al Davis, Lamar Hunt, and the other forefathers of modern football

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Construction to keep fans away from Ravens training camp in 2017

Posted on 05 January 2017 by Luke Jones

After inviting more and more fans to training camp in Owings Mills in the last few years, the Ravens will take a hiatus to be able to accommodate even larger groups in 2018 and beyond.

Due to the start of a $45 million renovation project at the Under Armour Performance Center, the organization announced it will not be able to welcome fans to this summer’s training camp. The Ravens plan to once again hold free practices at M&T Bank Stadium as they’ve done annually.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to have fans at our training camp this summer because of the ongoing construction,” Ravens president Dick Cass told the official team website. “But the good news is that when fans return to training camp in the summer of 2018, the changes we are now making will make the fan experience at training camp even better.”

The organization has purchased more land surrounding the facility, which will create more parking to accommodate fans at summer practices in the future. The plan is to provide parking for up to 1,200 fans.

In 2011, the Ravens permanently moved their annual training camp from McDaniel College in Westminster to their Owings Mills training facility, but they conducted lotteries to invite season-ticket holders to watch practices in recent summers.

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Ravens looking to invite more fans to training camp

Posted on 23 March 2015 by Luke Jones

The Ravens haven’t held training camp at McDaniel College in five years, but the organization wants to bring the old Westminster feel to their Owings Mills facility in the coming summers.

Team president Dick Cass told reporters at the league meetings in Phoenix that the Ravens are exploring ways to accommodate more fans to attend training camp practices. The possibilities include buying land adjacent to the team’s training facility for additional parking.

After the Ravens accommodated a maximum of 500 fans at certain practices last summer, Cass told the team’s official website that they hope to bring 1,000 fans per day to camp workouts this summer and 3,000 spectators to individual practices by 2016, which would be more in line with the types of crowds they once saw in Westminster. The organization also plans to bring in more entertainment for fans at the training facility.

The Ravens held training camp in Westminster from 1996 through 2010, but the 2011 camp was moved to the training facility in Owings Mills due to the uncertainty that accompanied the offseason lockout. Baltimore officially decided a year later to keep summer workouts at their multimillion-dollar facility moving forward to better prepare for the regular season, but the move eliminated arguably the most intimate setting for fans to watch players and interact with them.

Cass said the Ravens will once again hold a training camp practice at M&T Bank Stadium this summer, which is currently slated for Aug. 3. It remains unclear whether they will hold another practice at the Naval Academy in Annapolis this summer.

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Ravens announce two open Training Camp practices

Posted on 11 June 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 RAVENS TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES

The Baltimore Ravens’ 2014 training camp, will feature free individual stadium practices for the third-consecutive year at M&T Bank Stadium and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Additionally, by entering a lottery on the Ravens’ official website, fans in limited numbers will have an opportunity to win free tickets to training camp practices held at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

The M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the Ravens’ first-ever Fireworks Night on Monday, July 28, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show. The Ravens’ practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will take place on Monday, Aug. 4 and feature a youth football clinic on the field prior to practice. There will also be an autograph session for children following practice.

Practices for both of these venues are free and open to the public and will have interactive fan events, including the player autograph signings for children, fun-filled activities designed specifically for younger fans, giveaways and cheerleader/mascot meet-and-greets. (Further details for both events are below.)

 

FAN LOTTERY FOR TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES

The Ravens can safely host up to 300 people on the fields of their Owings Mills training complex, and fans who are randomly chosen through the online drawing will be invited to view one of the team’s 12 open training camp sessions at the Under Armour Performance Center. The first full-team training camp practice is July 24, and the last is Aug. 14.

Beginning Thursday, June 12 at 10 a.m., fans may enter a lottery at http://www.baltimoreravens.com/trainingcamp to attend one training camp practice at the Under Armour Performance Center. All lottery submissions must be made by Tuesday, July 1 at 5 p.m., and the Ravens will contact fans who are chosen for these practices no later than Sunday, July 13. Details – including parking, practice day/time and procedures – will be communicated to winning recipients upon notification.  

 

STADIUM TRAINING CAMP FAMILY PRACTICES 

Event:                                   Fireworks Night at M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD) – Free and Open to the Public

When:                                  Monday, July 28

Practice Start Time:        7 p.m.

Gates Open:                      5:30 p.m.

Parking:                               Stadium lots open at 4 p.m. and are available for cold tailgating. The parking fee is $10.                

Details:                                Highlighted by a post-practice player autograph session for children and afireworks/laser show, the Fireworks Night practice will also feature entertainment that includes Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, cheerleaders, official mascot Poe and live mascots Rise and Conquer. The Ravens Team Store and concession stands will also be open.

 

Event:                                   Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Practice (Annapolis, MD) – Free and Open to the Public

When:                                  Monday, Aug. 4

Practice Start Time:        7 p.m.

Gates Open:                      5:30 p.m.

Parking:                               Lots open at 4 p.m. and are available for cold tailgating.

  • ·     $10 for cars and $25 for buses
  • ·     Parking may be purchased via www.navysports.com
  • ·     If Navy lots become full, nearby off-site locations are available with stadium shuttles.

Details:                                Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, cheerleaders, official mascot Poe and live mascots Rise and Conquer will be in attendance. The Ravens Team Store will be on site, and concession stands will be open. Prior to practice, the Ravens will host a RISE youth football clinic on the field featuring area players and teams. (More information about clinic registration, which begins June 23, will be shared at a later date.)

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Enjoy Labor Day with your family and Fox Sports Radio on WNST!

Posted on 02 September 2013 by WNST Staff

We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day enjoying time with your family, friends and us here at WNST.net!

We’ve allowed our local hosts to spend their Labor Day with their loved ones, you’ll be in the more than capable hands of Fox Sports Radio’s talented national lineup on AM1570 and streaming live at WNST.net/TuneIn Radio app!

In the meantime, we’ll have the Baltimore Ravens’ practice in Owings Mills covered (including media availability with coordinators Jim Caldwell, Dean Pees and Jerry Rosburg) here at WNST.net and @WNST on Twitter. Plus we’ll be keeping tabs on the Baltimore Orioles as they open a crucial series at the Cleveland Indians Monday afternoon as well!

We’ll be live and local once again Tuesday morning with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones 6am on The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction. Don’t forget our next “Grab a Bud” Happy Hour with Glenn Clark from “The Reality Check” is Tuesday night at Hooters Towson!

And don’t forget that both Drew and Glenn make an appearance in “America’s Game: The 2012 Baltimore Ravens”, which debuts tonight at 9pm on the NFL Network.

Have a wonderful day off Monday. Go Birds!

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Ravens opening three Training Camp practices to fans again

Posted on 17 June 2013 by WNST Staff

2013 RAVENS TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES

 

The Baltimore Ravens’ 2013 training camp, connected by Verizon, will feature for the second-consecutive year free individual practices to be held at M&T Bank Stadium, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and Stevenson University. Additionally, by entering a lottery on the Ravens’ official website, fans in limited numbers will have the opportunity to win free tickets to training camp at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.

The Ravens can safely host 200 people on the fields of their training center, and fans who are randomly chosen through the drawing will be invited to view one of the team’s 13 open training camp sessions at the Under Armour Performance Center. The first full-team training camp practice is July 25 and the last is Aug. 13.

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium will be the site for a training camp practice on Sunday, Aug. 4. The Ravens will then practice at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 11. Both of these sessions are free and open to the public.

The team will round out its off-site training camp sessions at Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University on Sunday, Aug. 18. While this is a free event, due to limited seating, fans must enter a lottery on the Ravens’ website for an opportunity to win tickets.

Each of these practice venues will feature interactive fan events, including player autograph signings for children, fun-filled activities designed specifically for youth and cheerleader/mascot meet-and-greets.

Additionally, this year, fans can enter a website lottery to reserve tickets to the premiere of “America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions.” An annual documentary series created by NFL Films profiling each season’s winning Super Bowl team, the 2012 Ravens’ feature will debut at the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric in Baltimore on Aug. 27.

 

FAN LOTTERY FOR TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES & “AMERICA’S GAME”

Beginning today (June 17), fans may enter a lottery at http://www.baltimoreravens.com/ravenstown/training-camp/index.html to attend one training camp practice at the Under Armour Performance Center or the practice held at Stevenson University. Fans may also enter to win tickets to the premiere of “America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions.”

All lottery submissions must be made by Monday, July 1 at 5 p.m., and the Ravens will contact fans who are chosen for these practices no later than Wednesday, July 17. Details – including parking, practice day/time and procedures – will be communicated to winning recipients upon notification.

 

RAVENS OFF-SITE TRAINING CAMP PRACTICES 

Location:                             Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, MD) – Free and Open to the Public

When:                                  Sunday, Aug. 4

Practice Start Time:        5 p.m.

Gates Open:                      3:30 p.m.

Parking:                               Lots open at 1 p.m. and are available for cold tailgating.

  • ·     $10 for cars and $25 for buses
  • ·     Parking may be purchased via www.navysports.com
  • ·     If Navy lots become full, nearby off-site locations are available with stadium shuttles.

Other Details:                   Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, cheerleaders, official mascot Poe and live mascots Rise and Conquer will be in attendance. The Ravens Team Store will be on-site, and concession stands will be open.

 

Location:                             M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD) – Free and Open to the Public

When:                                  Sunday, Aug. 11

Practice Start Time:        5 p.m.

Gates Open:                      3:30 p.m.

Parking:                               Stadium lots open at 1 p.m. and are available for cold tailgating. The parking fee is $10.                

Other Details:                   Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, cheerleaders, official mascot Poe and live mascots Rise and Conquer will be in attendance. The Ravens Team Store and concession stands will be open.

 

Location:                             Mustang Stadium at Stevenson University (Owings Mills, MD) – Free Tickets Via Lottery

When:                                  Sunday, Aug. 18

Practice Start Time:        5 p.m.

Gates Open:                      3:30 p.m.

Tickets:                                Due to limited seating, this is a ticketed event, one for which fans can sign up via lottery at

                  www.baltimoreravens.com/TCLottery

Parking:                               Parking will be provided when tickets are sent to fans.

  • ·     No tailgating

Other Details:                   The Ravens Team Store will be on-site, and concession stands will be open.

 

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Purple Reign 2: Flacco & Bisciotti met, talked Super Bowls & millions last August

Posted on 30 May 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

This is an excerpt from a new, 480-page book on the Baltimore Ravens championship run called Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story. If you enjoyed every aspect of their Super Bowl win in New Orleans, you’ll love this book that chronicles how the team overcame adversity and personal tragedies, and used theology sprinkled with faith, family and love on the way to a Baltimore parade fueled by inspiration, dedication, perspiration and yes, a little bit of luck.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15 of the definitive book on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.

If you enjoy it, please consider buying the books for the holidays as gifts for anyone who loves the Baltimore Ravens.

You can purchase both Purple Reign books by clicking here:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 here where Joe Flacco and Steve Bisciotti talk about the risk of $100 million:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 15 on the firing of Cam Cameron and its impact on Joe Flacco

This is from Chapter 9, “Injury after insult after implosion – Psychology 2012.” If you enjoy this small snippet you can purchase the book and read another excerpt here. You can also join the Facebook fan page here. The book will be released on May 31st and will be delivered before Father’s Day if purchase before June 5th.

 

AS THE TEAM WAS ASSEMBLED in the preseason, questions lingered, but Harbaugh felt great that the team had survived an offseason without arrests, without incidents, without any member of a veteran team blaming Evans or Cundiff for the New England loss. He inherited a fractured team in 2008, and by the summer of 2012 he was feeling good about the unity of the players and their maturity.

But the obvious questions for fans, media, and The Castle staff were all the same:

Is this the last chance for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Matt Birk?

Will the offensive line hold up?

Can the Ravens win the big one?

Can Joe Flacco win the big one?

As Bisciotti knew on draft day in 2008, and as Newsome, Harbaugh, and everyone else in the organization had experienced the hard way — it always comes back to the quarterback. Was Joe Flacco going to be the franchise quarterback who would win a Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens?

Flacco, who played perhaps the best game of his career and threw what would’ve been the pass that took the Ravens to the Super Bowl on his last drive in January, somehow went into the 2012 season as the man on the hot seat who had not only turned down a $90 million offer for more than six months, but who had gone on WNST.net & AM 1570 in April and said he thought he was the best quarterback in the NFL. As much as Tim Tebow was the darling of ESPN with a seemingly non-stop Jets theme on SportsCenter, Flacco became something of a punch line for a quarterback who could get a team to the playoffs, but somehow was perceived as “not Super Bowl caliber.”

Short of catching his own pass in Foxborough, he literally had done everything he could do to get his team into the Super Bowl and yet the abuse was seemingly endless.

But the game is won on the X’s and O’s and the execution, and Flacco knew this. Cameron and Flacco had talked about more passing, more shotgun formations, and more pressure on defenses, but over the summer of 2012 it became clear the Ravens would become more of a personalized offense for No. 5. If the Ravens were offering Flacco $90 million dollars, they’d need to trust him to earn that money. He loved the tempo of the no-huddle offense and loved that it allowed him to dictate to the defense both personnel and pace.

“What quarterback wouldn’t want to run the no-huddle or fast-paced offense?” Flacco said. “Let’s be honest, it’s more fun to play quarterback when you do that. We like the pace we’re running on offense right now, but it’s a work in progress. We’ve done OK, and we’ve played pretty quick. But, we know we can play better, and we will play faster as we get into it more.”

Harbaugh endorsed this ideological move from being a team that always allowed its defense to cut loose while always seeming to fear the worst from the offense — trying to utilize the clock, run the ball, and be more conservative. “We’ve talked about the no-huddle [offense] since Joe’s [Flacco] rookie season,” Harbaugh said. “He ran it at Delaware and has had success in it when we’ve run it the last few years. He is a key to running it, and he loves it. And, we have the parts for it right now, including the offensive line. We can run the offense very fast, a little fast, slower, and we can huddle. We’re in a good spot right now with how we can run our offense.”

While some of the idiot sports talking heads and media types were constantly flogging Flacco, the people who watch coaches’ film were always impressed with him, using the evidence and residue of four straight playoff appearances and his improving game to shout down the detractors.

“We’ve spent time with Joe [Flacco], and I perceive a change in him,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who saw Flacco play at Audubon High in his hometown of Philadelphia. “He’s won since Day One with the Ravens, but he’s more confident now. They’re confident in him, too, and the improved offense reflects all of that. He can make every throw. He can bring his team from behind. The question becomes, ‘Can they win a Super Bowl with Joe?’ And the answer is an emphatic, ‘Yes!’”

Mike Lombardi, who was doing NFL analysis in the summer of 2012 before becoming the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said “That anyone spent the offseason criticizing [Joe] Flacco strikes me as ludicrous. Flacco didn’t drop the ball in the end zone against the Patriots. In fact, it was Flacco who drove the Ravens to give them two chances to win that game. It was others who didn’t make plays. While he doesn’t play in an offense that shows off his skills statistically, Flacco is a winning QB, and his record [45-21] shows it.”

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski spoke out on Flacco’s arm strength and ability to attack opposing defenses. “Arm strength – that’s Flacco’s No. 1 attribute,” Jaws said. “I get so tired of hearing how arm strength is overrated. It’s far more important than people think. He has the strongest arm in the NFL. And he has an aggressive, confident throwing mentality. The element always overlooked by those who minimize arm strength is the willingness of quarterbacks like Flacco to pull the trigger. Few recognize that because there is no quantifiable means by which to evaluate throws that are not made by quarterbacks with lesser arm strength. It’s all about dimensions. Flacco gives you the ability to attack all areas of the field at any point in the game.”

Flacco took the responsibility as a personal challenge and something he embraced.

“It’s definitely my offense as a quarterback; it’s my job to get out there and lead these guys and direct them and run the traffic, and get it run the way that I want it to be run,” he said in training camp. “Cam may be running the plays, and I may be controlling certain things on the line depending on what the play is, but the fine details of being a good offense are all of the fine details. And it’s my job to get those correct and that we have everyone on the same page. As long as I’m out there in practice getting it to the games and on game day, as long as I’m doing that and expressing to the receivers, expressing to the running back, and to the offensive line how I feel, and what I see back there and as long as we can get on the same page as that together, then that’s when we’re doing something, and that’s when I’m doing my job.

“You talk about being paid that much money, they don’t do that so that they can go out there to do every job, they do that so they can delegate some jobs onto me. And I can go out there and get it done the way it should be. That’s a big part of being a quarterback. To be able to make sure that everything is running smoothly and everybody sees it the way I see it. And that once we get there on Sunday, we can just react and play. Because we’re all up to speed and we all have the same vision of everything. I think that’s what good quarterbacks are able to do, is to take that and then take a certain play and make it great, just because everyone has a good understanding of that.”

By the beginning of training camp it was very clear that the Ravens and Flacco were at an impasse in negotiating a new contract that would replace the final year of his five-year deal from 2008. Newsome called Bisciotti and said that after tireless conversation with Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, there was no way to get a long-term deal and that the Ravens would need to play out the season and consider signing or franchising their star quarterback in 2013.

Bisciotti authorized a final offer – a “bump and roll” contract that gave Flacco a $1 million per year bonus if he won a Super Bowl and $2 million per year for the six years of the deal if he had won two Super Bowls. It would’ve been a raise that stayed on the books for the life of the deal. The average salary number was $16.7 million per year on the Ravens’ base offer, which would’ve made Flacco the fourth-highest paid quarterback behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Flacco was essentially turning down $90 million because he was rejecting the notion that he was the fourth best quarterback in the NFL.

Linta and Flacco once again turned it down the week before training camp opened.

Bisciotti was flustered, wanting to get the deal done and ran into Flacco in the cafeteria in Owings Mills during the first week of training camp and summoned the quarterback to his office upstairs.

“I had never, ever – not for one minute – even spoken to Joe about the contract,” Bisciotti said. “That was for Pat [Moriarty] and Ozzie [Newsome] to do, but I wanted to take one more swing at it and try to understand the situation.”

They spent 45 minutes with the door closed.

“There are two things here that I don’t understand,” Bisciotti said to Flacco. “I don’t understand why you’re walking away from this deal? As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we’re offering you a $90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, ‘F**k you guys! See, the Ravens DO believe in me!’ ”

Flacco was nonplussed. “I really don’t care about my critics,” he bluntly told the Ravens owner.

Bisciotti was exasperated. “I don’t understand it. Joe, don’t you think you’d play better with a clear head and having this contract behind you?” he continued. “You won’t have to answer questions from anybody, and you can just focus on playing and winning the Super Bowl.”

Flacco said it again. “Steve, I appreciate the offer, but I really don’t care about the media, critics, any of it. I’ve gotta trust my agent, and he doesn’t want any incentives in contracts. And I’ve gotta leave it to him.”

Bisciotti reasoned that until they won a Super Bowl together neither one would get that ultimate respect they desired. “I’m offering you a better deal than the one you’re asking me for if you’re planning on winning the Super Bowl,” he said.

Flacco wasn’t upset or emotional, as is his custom. He simply smiled and said he was going to play out the year. Bisciotti said, “Well, I tried,” as he shook Flacco’s hand. “Then go out and put a few rings on my desk and get what you think you deserve.”

“I figured if he’s fine with it then I should be fine with it,” Bisciotti said. “I wanted it behind both of us. I guess I didn’t really understand how different a guy he was. I told him, ‘You are a different cat, man!’ ”

Flacco remembers the conversation vividly. “Yeah, he couldn’t get over it,” Flacco said. “He said, ‘Do you know what you’re doing? This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!’ I told him I knew what I was doing and my price wasn’t getting cheaper. I saw his point of view but I also thought that I was right. I’m a little bit of a hard head.”

Flacco believed the market always get set by the next elite quarterback that signs and the price always goes up if you perform. “It wasn’t a bad offer but I felt like I could do better if I waited,” he said. Like his adversary in this $100 million negotiation, he had gone to the Bisciotti school of downside management.

“My agent said to me, ‘Think about the worse possible situation and if you’re OK with that then hold your position,” Flacco said. The downside here would’ve been a catastrophic injury or a bad 2012 season on the field. “If I got hurt, I got hurt,” he said. “That’s the nature of the game. I was willing to look in the mirror and live with that.”

Flacco said he turned the tables on Bisciotti: “I told him, ‘You should give me four or five million more now because if I win the Super Bowl’ – and I did say ‘if’ – ‘then it’s gonna cost you $20 million.’ ”

Flacco figured he was still only making his base of $6.5 million in 2012 no matter what. The Ravens weren’t ripping up his deal. It was an extension. And there’s always a new “going rate” for top quarterbacks.

“I was actually glad that he called me up to talk about it because it was a cool conversation to have,” Flacco said. “Even though we weren’t agreeing it was a great conversation. It’s one of those talks that grows a relationship, I think.

“Hey, I tried to throw him a bone and save him some money.”

 

To purchase Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story, click here.

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Flacco says he wanted to get paid what he’s worth by Ravens

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Ravens issue friendly reminder about Sunday practice at Stevenson

Posted on 16 August 2012 by WNST Staff

This Sunday (Aug. 19), beginning at 3:30 p.m., the Baltimore Ravens will have their final training camp practice away from the Under Armour Performance Center at Stevenson University. While free to the public, this is a ticketed event, and all tickets have been assigned.

It is important to note that tickets are no longer available, and they have been distributed to fans who entered a lottery on the Ravens’ website earlier this summer and were randomly chosen to attend the practice.

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Suggs facing reality of difficult road back to field for 2012 season

Posted on 14 June 2012 by Luke Jones

Typically this time of year is one linebacker Terrell Suggs doesn’t enjoy as the Ravens conclude another off-season program.

Like many veterans, Suggs could do without the formality of organized team activities and mandatory minicamps at the team’s Owings Mills facility weeks before the start of training camp in late July. However, everything changed for the five-time Pro Bowl defender after suffering a partially-torn Achilles tendon in late April.

Now, he wishes he could experience the monotony of taking the field for workouts geared more toward rookies and younger players than a 10th-year linebacker coming off the best season of his career.

“This is a very unfamiliar feeling for me,” Suggs said. “I used to dread this. I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got minicamp.’ Ease us all back and go out in the sun. But now, I’ve never appreciated it so much, because I’ve never had to sit and watch my brothers go to battle without me.”

Instead of thinking about traditional two-a-days and lining up with the likes of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata this summer, Suggs has his own version of training camp. The 29-year-old rehabs every day by working out, rehabbing his foot, resting and icing his foot, and then repeating the process.

Boldly proclaiming on the day his injury become public knowledge on May 3 he planned to return by November at the latest, Suggs must settle for baby steps now. Earlier this week, he longer required the use of crutches as he can now move around with a walking boot on his right foot.

Asked once again on Thursday if he still targeted November at the latest as his time to return to the field for the Ravens, Suggs offered a more measured perspective while still reinforcing the notion that he’ll do what many think he can’t in 2012.

“I am not a doctor, so [November was] just a guess,” Suggs said. “It feels good now, I guess. We’ll know in my progression when I will actually be able to come back. But like I said before when I first got injured, I will be in a Baltimore Ravens uniform in 2012. The only question is when.”

One of the biggest challenges in recovering from such a devastating injury is following the advice of the doctors and training staff and adhering to the schedule put in place. For a player like Suggs who enters this season having missed only three games in the first nine seasons of his NFL player, it’s only natural to want to push the issue when feeling good in the rehabilitation process.

While the rest of the Ravens organization has expressed cautious optimism and support for Suggs’ claim that he’ll return to play this season, they also understand how challenging that task will be and do not want the talented linebacker to put the rest of his career in jeopardy by pushing too far too fast.

“You work hard, but you do it within the boundaries of what you are able to do at the time,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We have a lot of people who are professional at that. Nothing really needs to be said other than to get back as soon as we can, and part of that is no setback. Professionals take care of that.”

One thing Suggs won’t have to worry about is the organization trying to withhold his base salary this season with him suffering a non-football injury away from the Ravens’ training facility. Suggs once again dismissed reports of him suffering the injury while playing basketball when asked about it on Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 linebacker explained his relationship with the organization was too strong to expect it to go after his 2012 salary, a sentiment shared by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in comments made last week.

“They’ve always been behind me no matter what was going on or what was happening in my life,” Suggs said. “We’ve got an understanding. I consider this organization my family.”

Suggs’ first public comments about the Achilles injury confirmed once again that no one — including the Ravens’ all-time sacks lead — really knows if he will see the field at some point this fall. But that uncertainty isn’t going to prevent Suggs from trying to do what many consider to be nearly impossible.

For now, he can’t worry about moving past a left tackle or getting to the quarterback as quickly as he can.

The battle is against himself.

“You’ve got to know your body,” Suggs said. “They constantly keep trying to tell me, ‘Rehab and rest. Work as hard as you can.’ Right now, rehab is my football field and until I master it, I won’t be out there. So, I’m definitely trying to become All-Pro at that [as soon as possible].”

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