Newsome, Billick, Lewis, Ogden, others reflect on David Modell’s passing

January 13, 2017 | WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

Owner Steve Bisciotti:

“The children of accomplished leaders never receive as much credit for what they achieve when following in the footsteps. Much of what the Ravens are today can be traced to David and what he directed and established. But, above all, he was a sweet, kind man who helped me when I was first involved. I smile remembering what we shared and what my friend David offered. He was fun, smart and giving. Renee and I send our love and prayers to Michel and all of his children.”

General Manager and Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome:

“This is so hard for me, and words almost escape from me at this sad time. I’ve known David since 1978 and, in many ways, we became like brothers. We both grew up with the Browns and became Ravens together. We shared thoughts beyond the business of football. Life, family, children, politics, religion – we touched it all. You can trace much of the good of this franchise back to David. His passing shakes me. My deepest prayers go to Michel and the children.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh:

“From the moment Ingrid and I arrived in Baltimore, David reached out to us and was so welcoming, accepting and encouraging. We became good friends, and I loved his enthusiasm, his spirit, his depth and his humor. His upbeat and positive way was always helpful. And, his superstitions helped, too. We had a secret handshake and hug every Thursday in our weight room during our Super Bowl season. His wife Michel has been so strong through all of this, and our prayers and thoughts are with her and the twins. May God bless them.”

Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick:

“David Modell was a good friend and valuable partner to me and my family. His ever-present and upbeat energy, along with his constant support, were at the very core of our success with the Ravens. He was the first to reach out to me and invite me to consider the Ravens, and he made it easy and inviting to come here. He will be sorely missed.”

New York Giants President and CEO John K. Mara:

“I am very saddened to learn of the death of David Modell. He was a devoted family man, an innovative executive and a good friend. He helped make the Baltimore Ravens one of the most respected franchises in the NFL. David had such a huge impact on the franchise. He oversaw construction of one of the best [stadiums] in the country and helped put together one of the finest front offices in the League. His imprint on the Ravens and the City of Baltimore will be felt for many years.”

Chairman and CEO of Moag & Company, John A. Moag, Jr., who brokered the Ravens’ arrival in Baltimore:

“David was larger than life. There was never a dull moment with him – an incredibly creative guy and driven. And he was very customer-conscious, which I think is important. David is really responsible, in large part, for an incredibly successful transition of a team coming from another city into a new market and having the market embrace them. That’s not an easy thing to do, and David saw to that and deserves an incredible amount of credit for it. Again, he was very customer-conscious and was always interested in hearing what the fans had to say and being responsive to the fans. But more important, he was a great guy. He was tremendous fun. He was quirky, no question about it, and there were times you’d want to wring his neck. But at the end of the day, you ultimately had to love the guy.”

Former Ravens OLB Peter Boulware:

“My heart and prayers go out to the Modell family. It was such a pleasure to have David as president of the greatest franchise in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens. David, you were a man of character and integrity, just like your father. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my lifelong dream to play professional football. I truly enjoyed my nine years as a Baltimore Raven. It didn’t matter if I had a good game or a bad game, or if we won or lost, when I saw David, he was always a source of encouragement. David, you will be missed.”

Former Ravens DE Rob Burnett:

“When I first got to know David, he was ‘the kid’ and ended up as ‘the boss.’ From the time I met him, he treated me like we were friends and partners. I consider him a brother, and I am heartbroken for his family. When he became the boss, he was as generous as he could be. He never changed. He did so many things for me, my family and the families of so many others, that no one ever knew about. It is hard to fathom that he is gone. I will miss talking to him. I’ll miss seeing him. I wish I could tell him I love him one more time. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Former Ravens WR Qadry Ismail:

“The main thing that comes to mind was just how approachable he was. As a player, you hear about owners and their families and how they can be a little distant, but he just had such an easy-going way about him that I always enjoyed. I have many fond memories of David, and he was such a good man who had a way of communicating that I always appreciated and enjoyed. I will miss him dearly.”

Former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis:

“David was a great guy who cared a lot about people and modeled his dad’s character very much. He always made everyone feel welcomed and was a very genuine person. The last time we spoke was outside of the team hotel after the 2012 Super Bowl. We talked and laughed for about an hour about the years we shared together within the organization. He will definitely be missed, but never forgotten.”

Former Ravens LB Ray Lewis:

“We have lost an incredible man, and incredible father, brother and son. I was fortunate to speak to David yesterday and was able to let him know how much I love him and tell him he was one of the greatest men I have ever known. His father was like a father to me, and David was like a brother. He had a way of making everyone around him feel special, which was such a gift. I feel truly blessed to have known him, and I will miss my brother greatly. We know losing him will be hard for Michel and the kids, but they know we are all family, and they have many uncles, like me, to rely on. We can never replace David, but we will do everything we can to give them a helping hand whenever they need anything. Rest well, David, you are home.”

Former Ravens T Jonathan Ogden:

“David was one of the first people I met at the Ravens. He and I were in the room together with my agent, Marvin Demoff, negotiating my first contract, and from the moment I met him, you could tell he was one of the most genuine and nice people you would ever meet. You can tell David was raised by Art. He cared about you as a person, just like his father. To me, David and Art were the Ravens in those early days. My heart breaks for Michel and their children. I pray they find peace during this difficult time. I love David tremendously, and I will miss him.”

Former Ravens DT Tony Siragusa:

“Wow, this sets me back. A lot of what the Ravens are came from David. Of course, it came from Art, too. David treated the players as family, as brothers, really. I know that the “Ravens Way” continues today with Steve [Bisciotti]. It wouldn’t be proper to ever call David an owner or president. No, he was a friend, a brother. I already miss him. God bless his family.”

Longtime Browns and Ravens Personnel Executive Phil Savage:

“With a new beginning in Baltimore, David was instrumental in setting the course for what the Ravens became as an NFL organization. On a personal note, he was particularly kind to my father during my time in Baltimore, and for that I will always be thankful to he and the Modell family.”