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Brigance remains inspiration to Ravens

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Brigance remains inspiration to Ravens

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) O.J. Brigance is going back to the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, a model of toughness and perseverance.

On Sunday, confined to a wheelchair as he battles Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the former Baltimore linebacker presented the Lamar Hunt trophy to the team after it beat the New England Patriots 28-13 for the AFC championship on Sunday.

Using a communication device that translates his thoughts, Brigance, now a senior advisor to player development for the Ravens, had this to say:

``Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens. Your resiliency has outlasted your adversity. You are the AFC Champions. You are my mighty men. With God, all things are possible.''

In 2007, Brigance was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. In his current position, he helps the athletes in all phases of their careers.

He was part of the Ravens team that won the Super Bowl in the 2000 season, starring on special teams.

Now he inspires them.

``Every day I came out and told O.J. that you're my greatest motivation,'' said linebacker Ray Lewis, the only active Raven who played on that championship team.

Brigance, 43, also was on the field for the coin toss Sunday.

``What can't you say about O.J.,'' safety Ed Reed said. ``O'J.'s been our strength. O.J. took me under his wing when I first got here and everything he's been through and is going through, to still be the same O.J. and being a light to you and be a light for our team ... He's been like an uncle to me and like a brother. I love Juice.''

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens exercise 2020 fifth-year option on 2016 first-round pick Ronnie Stanley

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens exercise 2020 fifth-year option on 2016 first-round pick Ronnie Stanley

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could forget that the 2019 NFL Draft is just two days away.

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens have exercised the 2020 fifth-year option on LT Ronnie Stanley, according to a league source of ESPN's Field Yates. The Ravens' 2016 first round pick, Stanley has started 42 games in three seasons.

2. Part of the pre-NFL draft fun that goes on in the months leading up to the big weekend is re-drafting previous drafts. Bleacher Report's Chris Roling re-drafted the 2018 NFL Draft and have the Ravens selecting two completely different players.

Instead of TE Hayden Hurst at No. 25, Roling has the Ravens selecting TE Chris Herndon out of Miami.

"For the sake of value, the re-draft move is Miami's Chris Herndon," Roling said. "He slipped to the New York Jets in the fourth round yet put up 39 catches for 502 yards and four scores and is two-and-a-half years younger than Hurst."

And instead of QB Lamar Jackson, he has the Ravens picking LB Harold Landry out of Boston College.

"Landry, a second-round pick by Tennessee, flashed with 4.5 sacks over 15 games (three starts) as a rookie and earned a much bigger role heading into next season," Roling said. "He seems like a natural fit in a Baltimore front thanks to his ability to rush from all over the field, fitting a multiple look, and could produce in those spots freed up by players who left on the open market."

3. We knew who the Ravens would be facing in the preseason and when, but now we know what time. The Ravens' preseason matchups with the Jaguars, Packers, Eagles and Redskins will all take place at 7:30 p.m. ET. 


Looking Ahead:

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get long-term deal done with designated franchise tag player

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

We've made in to NFL draft week. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The 2019 NFL Draft is Thursday night in Nashville, Tn. While the chances of pundits predicting each team's first-round pick accurately is about the same as picking the Powerball numbers, we can't seem to stop ourselves from looking at them. Here's a look at 20 prospects mocked to the Ravens at No. 22, courtesy of the Ravens' website.  


2. One of the many exciting parts of the NFL draft is waiting to hear which organizations trade forward or backwards to acquire a pick. Just last year, the Ravens traded back from their No. 16 pick several times to select Hayden Hurst at No. 25, before trading back into the first-round to pick Lamar Jackson at No. 32. But which trade in Ravens history was the most impactful? ESPN's Jamison Hensley selected the Ravens' trade for running back Jamal Lewis.


"In 1999, the Ravens traded their second-round pick (No. 43) for Atlanta's first-round pick in 2000, which they used to land running back Jamal Lewis," Hensley wrote. "The Falcons selected tight end Reggie Kelly, and the Ravens got what turned into the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 draft. Baltimore drafted Lewis, who carried the offense during the team's 2000 Super Bowl championship season and recorded the NFL's fifth 2,000-yard season in 2003."


3. As Marlon Humphrey enters his third year in the league, the cornerback will not only be expected to take on a leadership role within the Ravens' new look defense, but top his impressive sophomore season. In 2018, Humphrey contested 35% of targets thrown into his coverage marking the second-best rate in all the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. 


Looking Ahead:

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get long-term deal done with designated franchise tag player

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: