A. I think that label is inevitable with the situations we've had. But I also know in my four years I've been more impressed from a character standpoint of people like Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis than anybody else in the organization. They are not bad guys. They are great guys. When these kind of situations arise, a picture is going to be painted that is going to take you a long time to change. Having said that, I think a majority of this comes from a defense-first philosophy. They don't look at offensive-minded teams as being bad guys.
Q. What's your threshold for those players who are arrested or get caught up in trouble?
Q. What are your expectations on the field? When do you expect to win a Super Bowl title?
A. I think we have proven with the parity in the league that you can be a very good team and come up short over and over again like the Buffalo Bills ... and Philadelphia Eagles. I think with our coaching staff and our personnel staff that we will continually overachieve on the average of the NFL teams. That's what I'm very excited about. Whether we win or get back to a Super Bowl, a single bounce of the ball can change that.
Q. With most of the teams in the AFC North in a rebuilding mode, what are the chances of building a dynasty in the division?
A. I would like to say yes to make everybody happy. But I see [coach] Marvin Lewis and what he is doing with Cincinnati. Cleveland brought in [quarterback] Jeff Garcia and has great receivers and a young defense. I don't look at our division [as] easy to dominate. I think if we can get to the top of our division, we've prepared ourselves to beat just about anybody.
Q. Because Paul Tagliabue once said Baltimore should use its money to build a museum and not buy an NFL team, many believe the commissioner has been against this city. In your dealings with Tagliabue, is there any validity to that claim?
A. My relationship with the commissioner has been fabulous. He has been very supportive of the Modells, myself and Baltimore in general. That's a comment that burned me, too. But at the same time, it was taken out of context. And we were bruised and angry. It didn't take much to make Baltimore mad at the NFL. It was a series of unfortunate events with the Colts leaving and us missing out on expansion. I think it's a misnomer that the league has it in for us. That's part of the beauty of Baltimore. We live with a chip on our shoulder and let's not confuse the story with the facts.
Q. You sometimes talk with players after practice and have taken Ray Lewis to your courtside seats at Maryland basketball games. How close have you become with the players?
A. I think I'm an attractive owner to the players because I'm younger than most owners. So, there's a natural inclination for us to interact and communicate more. Certainly, there's a limit to that for the health of the organization. When you draft these guys and they're giving you their heart and soul, it's hard not to develop a relationship with them. I don't see that developing into much of a social relationship.
Q. What's the biggest difference between you and Modell?
A. I'm probably more inclined to the business side than the football side. Art got into this business and lived and breathed it for 40 years. As you get older, you get bored with the business side and get much more interested in the football side because that becomes your legacy. But I do anticipate that probably changing as I gain more experiences.
Q. What's your biggest fear as an owner?
A. My biggest fear is losing. You can be primed for a Super Bowl run and a couple of key injuries can obliterate it. You saw what happened to the Broncos after they lost Terrell Davis, and you saw what happened to the Atlanta Falcons after they lost Jamal Anderson.
Q. How much time will you spend with the Ravens?
A. I can see myself at 50 percent of the practices two to three days a week. My involvement is year-round, but not full time. I've worked 70 hours a week, and that's what [new team president] Dick Cass is for.
Q. There has been a distance between the Ravens and the Orioles. Will that change?
A. That was between Peter and Art. Peter didn't have to share this town with anybody at first. Then, all of a sudden, he had competition across the parking lot for sponsors and everything else. There is naturally going to be tension. Peter has been very gracious to me and my family. He invited me to dinner after the deal was done, and he has had my family to a suite for a game. I anticipate our relationship going forward to be great. I think we'll work well together.
Q. How long do you plan to own the team?
Change at the top
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