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The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Marylandmarker. They compete in the AFC North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL)

The Ravens have won one Super Bowl title, Super Bowl XXXV, in the 2000 season against the New York Giants.

The team name is a reference to the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, who lived and worked in Baltimore at various points during his life and is buried in the city.

History

The Baltimore Ravens came into existence in 1996 when Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his intention to relocate his team from Clevelandmarker to Baltimoremarker. The controversy ended when representatives of Cleveland and the NFL reached a settlement on February 8, 1996. with Pro Football Hall of Famemarker players. A new team to begin play in 1999 would be regarded as the "reactivated" Cleveland Browns. Modell's Baltimore team, while retaining all current player contracts, would officially be the expansion team, a "new franchise." Not all players, staff or front office would make the move to Baltimore, however.

Modell relocated the team and hired Ted Marchibroda as head coach. Marchibroda was already well known because of his work as head coach of the Baltimore Colts during the 1970s and the Indianapolis Colts during the early 1990s. Ozzie Newsome, the Browns' tight end for many seasons, joined Modell in Baltimore as director of football operations. He was later promoted to Vice President/General Manager.

The home stadium for the Ravens first two seasons was Baltimore's Memorial Stadiummarker, home field of the Baltimore Colts years before. The Ravens moved to their own new stadium at Camden Yards in 1998. Raven Stadium would subsequently wear the names PSI Net Stadium and then M&T Bank Stadiummarker.

In the 1996 NFL Draft, the Ravens, with two picks in the first round, drafted offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden at #4 overall and linebacker Ray Lewis at #26 overall. Both players would go on to have Hall of Fame-caliber careers for the Ravens.

The 1996 Ravens won their opening game against the Oakland Raiders. However, they would not keep this momentum for long, and they finished 4-12. One other highlight of the season was their trip to Indianapolis to play the Colts (who won 26-21). This game was aired on TNT, and was the first such game following the closure of the acquisition of TNT parent Turner Broadcasting System by Time Warner, only three days earlier.

The 1997 Ravens started 3–1. Peter Boulware, a rookie defender from Florida Statemarker, recorded 11.5 sacks and was named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year. The team finished 6–9–1. On October 26, the team made its first trip to Landover, Marylandmarker to play their new regional rivals, the Washington Redskins, for the first time in the regular season, at the new Jack Kent Cooke Stadiummarker (replacing the still-standing RFK Stadiummarker in Washington, DCmarker). The Ravens won the game 20-17.

Quarterback Vinny Testaverde left for the New York Jets before the 1998 season and was replaced by former Indianapolis Colt Jim Harbaugh, and later Eric Zeier. Cornerback Rod Woodson joined the team after a successful stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Priest Holmes started getting the first playing time of his career and ran for 1,000 yards. The Ravens finished 1998 with a 6–10 record. On November 29, the Ravens welcomed the Colts back to Baltimore for the first time in 15 years. Amidst a shower of negative cheers towards the Colts, the Ravens won 38-31.

Three consecutive losing seasons under Marchibroda led to a change in the head coach. Brian Billick took over as head coach in 1999. Billick had been offensive coordinator for the record-setting Minnesota Vikings the season before. Quarterback Tony Banks came to Baltimore from the St. Louis Rams and had the best season of his career with 17 touchdown passes and an 81.2 pass rating. He was joined by receiver Qadry Ismail, who posted a 1,000-yard season. The Ravens struggled early starting 3-6 but managed to finish with an 8–8 record.

Due to continual financial hardships, the NFL directed Modell to initiate the sale of his franchise. On March 27, 2000, NFL owners approved the sale of 49% of the Ravens to Bisciotti. In the deal, Bisciotti had an option to purchase the remaining 51% for $325 million in 2004 from Art Modell. On April 9, 2004 the NFL approved Steve Bisciotti's purchase of the majority stake in the club.

2000 season — Super Bowl champions

The 2000 season saw the Ravens defense, led by defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, develop into a rock-solid unit that emerged as one of the most formidable defenses in NFL history. The Ravens defense set a new NFL record in holding opposing teams to 165 total points; the feat eclipsed the mark set previously by the 1986 Chicago Bears of 187 points for a 16 game season. Linebacker Ray Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Year and, with two of his defensive teammates, Sam Adams and Rod Woodson, made the Pro Bowl.

Baltimore's season started strong with a 5–1 record. Banks began the 2000 season as the starting quarterback, but was replaced by Trent Dilfer mid-season. Dilfer provided a steady hand at quarterback. The 1,364-yard rushing season by rookie running back Jamal Lewis combined with the stout Ravens defense to keep Baltimore competitive in games even when the offense struggled. At one point in the season the team played five consecutive games without scoring an offensive touchdown but still managed 2 wins during that stretch. The team regrouped and won each of their last seven games, finishing 12–4. The Ravens had made the playoffs for the first time.

Since the divisional rival Tennessee Titans had a record of 13–3, Baltimore had to play in the wild card round. They dominated the Denver Broncos 21–3 in their first game. In the divisional playoff, they went on the road to Tennessee. Tied 10–10 in the fourth quarter, an Al Del Greco field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Anthony Mitchell, and a Ray Lewis interception return for a score put the game squarely in Baltimore's favor. The 24–10 win put the Ravens in the AFC Championship against the Oakland Raiders. The game was barely in doubt. Shannon Sharpe's 96-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter, followed by an injury to Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, was crucial as the Ravens won easily, 16–3.

Baltimore then went to Tampa for Super Bowl XXXV against the New York Giants, cruising to a 34–7 win for their first championship in franchise history. The Ravens recorded four sacks and forced five turnovers, one of which was a Kerry Collins interception returned for a touchdown by Duane Starks. The Giants' only score was a Ron Dixon kickoff return for another touchdown (after Starks' interception return); however, Baltimore immediately countered with a TD return by Jermaine Lewis. The Ravens became only the third wild card team to win a Super Bowl championship. The interception return for a touchdown, followed by two kick return TDs, marked the quickest time in Super Bowl history that three touchdowns had been scored.

The title made the Ravens the fourth Baltimore-based pro football team to win a league championship. They were preceded by the NFL Colts in 1958, 1959 and 1970.

2001–2002

In 2001, the Ravens attempted to defend its title with Elvis Grbac as its new starting quarterback, but a season-ending injury to Jamal Lewis on the first day of training camp and poor offensive performances stymied the team. After a 3–3 start, the Ravens defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the final week to clinch a wild card berth at 10–6. In the first round the Ravens showed flashes of their previous year with a 20–3 blowout over the Miami Dolphins, in which the team forced three turnovers and outgained the Dolphins 347 yards to 151. In the divisional playoff the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three interceptions by Grbac ended the Ravens' season, as they lost 27–10.Baltimore ran into salary cap problems entering the 2002 season and was forced to part with a number of impact players. The Ravens stayed somewhat competitive, until a losing streak in December eliminated any chances of a post-season berth.

2003 draft

The Ravens needed a quarterback but, drafting after all the top quarterbacks were gone, used their 10th pick to select Arizona Statemarker defensive end Terrell Suggs. They then traded their 2nd round pick and 2004 1st round pick to the New England Patriots for the 19th overall selection. The Ravens used it to draft Cal quarterback Kyle Boller. The Patriots eventually used the Ravens' 2004 1st round selection to take defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.

2003–2005

After the 2003 season, Art Modell officially transferred his remaining 51% ownership to Bisciotti, ending over 40 years of tenure as an NFL franchise owner. Modell still has an office at the Ravens' headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland, and acts as a consultant.

The Ravens named Boller their starting QB just prior to the start of the 2003 season, but he was injured midway through the season and was replaced by Anthony Wright. Jamal Lewis ran for 2,066 yards (including 295 yards in one game against the Cleveland Browns on September 14). The Ravens held a 5–5 record until, in a home game against the Seattle Seahawks, wiped out a 41–24 gap in the final seven minutes of regulation, then won on a Matt Stover field goal in overtime for a 44–41 triumph. From there the Ravens won five of their last six games. With a 10–6 record, Baltimore won their first AFC North division title. Their first playoff game, at home against the Tennessee Titans, went back and forth, with the Ravens being held to only 54 yards total rushing. The Titans won 20-17 on a late field goal, and Baltimore's season ended early. Ray Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career.

The Ravens did not make the playoffs in 2004 and finished the season with a record of 9-7 with Kyle Boller finishing the season at QB.

In the 2005 offseason the Ravens looked to augment their receiving corps (which was second-worst in the NFL in 2004) by signing Derrick Mason from the Titans and drafting star Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. However, the Ravens ended their season 6-10.

2006 season

The 2006 Baltimore Ravens season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record of 2005. The Ravens, for the first time in franchise history, started 4–0, under the leadership of former Titans quarterback Steve McNair.

The Ravens lost 2 straight games mid-season on offensive troubles, prompting coach Brian Billick to drop their offensive coordinator Jim Fassel in their week 7 bye. After the bye, and with Billick calling the offense, Baltimore would record a five-game win streak before losing to the Bengals in week 13.

Still ranked second overall to first-place San Diego, The Ravens continued on. They defeated the Chiefs, and held the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers to only one touchdown at Heinz Field, allowing the Ravens to clinch the AFC North.

The Ravens ended the regular season with a franchise-best 13–3 record. Baltimore had secured the AFC North title, the #2 AFC playoff seed, and clinched a 1st-round bye by season's end. The Ravens were slated to face the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the playoffs, in the first meeting of the two teams in the playoffs. Many Baltimore and Indianapolis fans saw this historic meeting as a sort of "Judgment Day" with the new team of Baltimore facing the old team of Baltimore (the former Baltimore Colts having left Baltimore under questionable circumstances in 1984). In one of the most bizarre playoff games in NFL history, both Indianapolis and Baltimore were held to scoring only field goals as the two defenses slugged it out all over M&T Bank Stadium. McNair threw two costly interceptions, including one at the 1-yard line. The eventual Super-Bowl-Champion Colts won 15-6, ending Baltimore's season.

2007 season

After a stellar 2006 season, the Ravens hoped to improve upon its 13-3 record but injuries and poor play plagued the team which finished the 2007 season in the AFC North cellar with a disappointing 5-11 record. A humiliating 22-16 overtime loss to the previously winless Dolphins on December 16 led to Brian Billick's dismissal on New Year's Eve, one day after the end of the regular season.

2008 season

With rookies at head coach (John Harbaugh) and quarterback (Joe Flacco), the Ravens entered the 2008 campaign with lots of uncertainty. After a season-opening home victory over the Bengals, their Week 2 match at the Houston Texans was postponed until two months later because of Hurricane Ike, forcing the Ravens to play for what would eventually be eighteen straight weeks. Their record would drop to 2-3 after three straight losses - in overtime at Pittsburgh, a home heartbreaker versus Tennessee and a blowout in Indianapolis. A win at Miami, redemption for what happened late in the previous season, sparked a four-game winning streak. After a road loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants in Week 11, the Ravens beat Philadelphia at home, powered by Ed Reed breaking his own NFL record for longest interception for a touchdown when he returned one 108 yards against Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb. The previous record was 106 yards in 2004. In Week 16, the Ravens bounced back from a frustrating home loss to the Steelers that was decided by a highly controversial call from officials by humbling the Dallas Cowboys 33-24 in the final game at Texas Stadiummarker behind Le'Ron McClain and Willis McGahee combining for 249 rushing yards and two touchdowns. McGahee broke a 77-yard run for a touchdown, a stadium record which would last until McClain, on the very first offensive play of the Ravens' next possession, secured the victory with an 82-yard touchdown run of his own. Baltimore closed out the regular season at home by defeating the Jaguars to clinch the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs.

On the strength of two more Ed Reed interceptions, one resulting in a touchdown, the Ravens began its postseason run by winning a rematch over Miami 27-9 at Dolphin Stadiummarker on January 4, 2009 in a wildcard game. Six days later, they advanced to the AFC Championship Game by avenging a Week 5 loss to the Titans 13-10 at LP Fieldmarker on a Matt Stover field goal within the last two minutes of regulation. Even though they trailed by only two points with about four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Ravens fell one victory short of Super Bowl XLIII by losing to the Steelers 23-14 at Heinz Fieldmarker on January 18, 2009.

2009 season

With Jonathan Ogden retiring in the offseason after the 2007 season and Matt Stover going into free agency, Baltimore's only remaining player from its first season was Ray Lewis. The Ravens held the 26th pick in the 2009 NFL draft but went up to the 23rd pick by trading its 26th pick and a 5th round pick to the New England Patriots. The Ravens selected Michael Oher in the first round of the NFL Draft. In the season opener, the offense continued its improvements from the year before as it scored 38 points and accounted for over 500 yards in a 38-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Week 2 of the NFL 2009 Season, The Ravens defeated the San Diego Chargers 31-26. Week 3 of the 2009 NFL Season, The Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns in a 34-3 blowout while celebrating Derrick Mason's 800th pass reception in his career. Mason also received a 78 yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco near the end of the game. In week 4 of the 2009 NFL season, The Ravens lost to the New England Patriots 27-21 with The Ravens final drive resulting in a dropped pass to Mark Clayton on 4th down within the 10 yard line with 28 seconds left on the clock. The following week, the Ravens hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in a game played in Baltimore, but lost with the Bengals final drive resulting in a touchdown and the last attempt pass by Flacco resulting in an interception. In week 6 of the 2009 NFL season, the Ravens played an away game against the Minnesota Vikings and suffered a heartbreaking lost 33-31, putting them behind both the Bengals and the Steelers in the AFC North. The Ravens rallied from 17 points down and managed to drive the ball down the field and missed a 44 yard field goal. Flacco made 28 out of 43 passing attempts and threw for a career high 385 yards and Ray Rice ran for 117 yards. The very next week they hosted a game against the Denver Broncos, who were undefeated (6-0). After the Raven's kicker scored 6 points in field goals in the 1st and 2nd quarters, the Broncos kicked off at the start of the 3rd quarter and the Ravens immediately returned it for a touchdown, giving them a 13-0 lead. They finished the game victorious, crushing the Broncos 30-7, giving them their first loss of the season. The following week, the looked to avenge a week 5 loss to the Bengals by replaying them at Cincinnati, however they were out played on both the offense and defense side of the ball and suffered a crushing 17-7 loss. With a 4-4 record, a playoff appearence looked doubtful if they suffered any more losses. In week 10 of the 2009 NFL season, the Ravens played the Cleveland Browns again at Cleveland Browns Stadium. After a slow start, the Ravens went on to shut out the Browns 16-0. Ravens kicker, Steve Hauschka, missed a field goal and had an extra piont blocked, costing the Ravens 4 points. This led coach John Harbaugh releasing Hauschka from the team. They went on to picked up Billy Cundiff from Cleveland to replace the spot for kicker. In week 11, the Ravens were up against their third undefeated team, the Indianapolis Colts, who were (9-0). They lost 17-15, failing to make a single touchdown. Billy Cundiff was 5 for 6 tries, scoring the Ravens only points. He missed a back breaking 30 yard, shaking Baltimore's trust in him. Joe Flacco threw a last minute pick and after Ed Reed's fumble loss during the punt return, Manning kneeled, making this another close victory for the Colts, and another close loss for the Ravens, which had mutiple games lossed that were decided from under 10 points. With this loss, the Ravens record stand at 5-5, ranking third in the AFC North Division.

Logo controversy

Baltimore Ravens logo from 1996-1998
Bouchat's original sketch
The team's first helmet logo, used from 1996 through 1998, featured raven wings outspread from a shield displaying a letter B framed by the word Ravens overhead and a cross bottony underneath. The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appealsmarker affirmed a jury verdict that the logo infringed on a copyright retained by Frederick E. Bouchat, an amateur artist and security guard in Maryland.

Bouchat had submitted his design to the Maryland Stadium Authority by fax after learning that Baltimore was to acquire an NFL team. He was not credited for the design when the logo was announced. Bouchat sued the team, claiming to be the designer of the emblem; representatives of the team asserted that the image had been designed independently. The court ruled in favor of Bouchat, noting that team owner Modell had access to Bouchat's work. Bouchat's fax had gone to John Moag, the Maryland Stadium Authority chairman, whose office was located in the same building as Modell's. Bouchat ultimately was awarded no monetary compensation, though, in the damages phase of the case.

The Baltimore Sun ran a poll showing three designs for helmet logos. Fans participating in the poll expressed a preference for a raven's head in profile over other designs. Art Modell announced that he would honor this preference but still wanted a letter B to appear somewhere in the design. The new Ravens logo featured a raven's head in profile with the letter superimposed. The secondary logo is a shield that honors Baltimore's history of heraldry. Alternating Calvert and Crossland emblems (seen also in the flag of Maryland and the flag of Baltimore) are interlocked with stylized letters B and R.

Uniforms

Baltimore Ravens uniform combination
The design of the Ravens uniform has remained essentially unchanged since the team's inaugural season in 1996. Helmets are black with purple "talon" stripes rising from the facemask to the crown. Players normally wear purple jerseys at home and white jerseys on the road. In 1996 the team wore black pants with a single large white stripe for all games. At home games the combination of black pants with purple jersey made the Ravens the first NFL team to wear dark colors head to calf. A number of NFL teams have since donned the look, beginning with the all-black home uniform worn in three games by the 2001 New Orleans Saints.

In 1997 the Ravens opted for a more classic NFL look with white pants sporting stripes in purple and black. The white pants were worn with both home and road jerseys. The road uniform (white pants with white jerseys) was worn by the Ravens in the 2000 Super Bowl.

In the 2002 season the Ravens began the practice of wearing white jerseys for the home opener and, occasionally, other early games in the season that have a 1:00 kickoff. Since John Harbaugh became the head coach in 2008, the Ravens have also worn their white jerseys at home for preseason games.

In November 2004 the team introduced an alternate uniform design featuring black jerseys and solid black pants with black socks. The all-black uniform was first worn for a home game against the Cleveland Browns, entitled "Black Sunday", that resulted in a Ravens win. The uniform has since been worn for select prime-time national game broadcasts and other games of significance.

The Ravens began wearing black pants again with the white jersey in 2008. On December 7, 2008, during a Sunday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins, the Ravens introduced a new combination of black jersey with white pants.

Season-by-season records

Players of note

Current roster


Note: The following lists players who officially played for the Ravens. For other Hall of Famers, players whose numbers were retired, and players who played for the Baltimore Colts, see Indianapolis Colts.


Pro Football Hall of Fame



Retired numbers

The Ravens have no retired numbers.

Ring of Honor

The Ravens have a "Ring of Honor" which is on permanent display encircling the field of M&T Bank Stadium, including a sign with the names and dates of play viewable from the seats. The ring currently honors the following:

All-time first-round draft picks

The Baltimore Ravens had their first draft in 1996, where they selected offensive lineman from UCLA and future 11-time Pro-Bowler Jonathan Ogden. Along with their pick in the next year's draft, this was the highest first-round draft pick that the Ravens have had. They also selected Ray Lewis with the 26th pick. In both 1996 and 2000, the Ravens had two first-round draft picks. However, in 2004 they had none. In their history, the Ravens have drafted 3 offensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 wide receivers, 2 cornerbacks, 2 quarterbacks, a running back, tight end, safety, and defensive tackle. The Ravens have 39 combined Pro-Bowl appearances from their first-round draft picks.

Coaches of note

Head coaches

# Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards Reference
GC W L T W–L %The Win-Loss percentage is calculated using the formula:
\frac{Wins+\frac{1}{2}Ties}{Games}
GC W L
1 Ted Marchibroda 19961998 48 16 31 1 0.344
2 Brian Billick 19992007 144 80 64 0 0.556 8 5 3
3 John Harbaugh 2008Present 21 14 7 0 0.667 3 2 1


Current staff

Radio and television

The Ravens' flagship radio stations are WIYYmarker, "98 Rock," and WBALmarker 1090 AM, with Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TVmarker Sports Anchor since 1988) as the play-by-play announcer, with analysts Rob Burnett (Ravens DE 1996-2001) and Stan White (Baltimore Colts LB 1972-1979). The Hearst-Argyle stations were in their first season of game coverage, replacing longtime stations WJFK/WQSR. As of the 2008 season, any Ravens preseason games not on national television are seen on WBAL-TVmarker in Baltimore and on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network throughout the region. Sandusky, Burnett and White are also the television announcers. MASN also has extensive coverage of the team throughout the season, including postgame reports and the magazine show Ravens Wired. Ravens Wired, as well as Ravens Report and the regional preseason games, are produced by the Ravens in-house production department, RaveTV.

Ravens radio announcers

Years Flagship station Play-by-Play Color Commentator
1996 WJFK/WLIF FM Scott Garceau Bruce Cunningham and Tom Matte
1997–2000 WJFK/WLIF FM Scott Garceau Tom Matte
2001–2005 WJFK/WQSR FM Scott Garceau Tom Matte
2006-Present WBAL AMmarker/WIYY FMmarker Gerry Sandusky Rob Burnett and Stan White


Notes and references

External links




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