The additions of safety Earl Thomas and running back Mark Ingram kicked off a new era of football in Baltimore, but for both, it was those already attached to the organization that attracted them to the Ravens.
"Well you look at Ed Reed, guys like Ray Lewis. I feel like that's my style of play," Thomas said on what enticed him to sign with the Ravens. "I have that type of swagger. It's a historic franchise so I definitely have an opportunity to bring my blueprint to the table."
Thomas will have four years to make his mark on the league's No. 1 defense in 2018 and will continue to wear No. 29 thanks to cornerback Marlon Humphrey agreeing to swap with the vet.
What number are we thinking???? 😎⬇️⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/NdL6McJMrj— Fruit PUNCH (@marlon_humphrey) March 15, 2019
Coming from a Seahawks defense that earned the nickname of "The Legion of Boom," the six-time Pro Bowler's game is already influenced by those who have made this defense historic.
"I've kind of established a great relationship with Ed," Thomas said. "....but you just watch him on film, you watch how he move. Him and Troy Polamalu are probably two [people] I can emulate and close to how I play the game. So, it's just good to see how they looked at the game and try to, not be them, but just watch, and see."
Running back Mark Ingram's desire to wear purple and black had more to do about the Ravens' future than past.
"1,000 percent," Ingram said on if QB Lamar Jackson's style of play had an effect on his decision. "That was a very interesting and something that very [much] caught my attention. Just having an opportunity to be in an offense that runs the ball and Lamar, his run-pass option abilities. Just to be able to bring my game to this offense and be able to help this team, I'm excited about it and it was something that was really intriguing to me."
Two of the best in the league at their position, Thomas is the only safety in the last decade to record 100 or more tackles, five or more interceptions and two or more forced fumbles in a single season.
"One thing I know coming here, I know I was gonna be on a great defense," Thomas added. "Defense are gonna win you championships. That was all I needed to know."
For Ingram, who is the Saints' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns and is tied for second in Saints history in total touchdowns while ranking fifth in total yards from scrimmage (7,605), the 29-year-old feels his best years of football are still ahead of him.
"I feel like I've got many more years of playing this game at the highest level and being one of the best in the game," Ingram added. "I had the opportunity to come here and do that with a great franchise, a great organization, some great teammates so that's what I'm looking forward to."
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