Anthony Levine Sr.’s NFL career began in 2010 when he joined the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted rookie. He spent two years on the practice squad and even earned a Super Bowl ring when the 2010 team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the title game.
But the defensive back said he has not looked at the ring in a long time and has planted his roots with the Ravens, for whom he has played the last six seasons.
“I love it here, and they love me,” Levine said after Friday’s practice. “I’m very thankful and grateful for the opportunity that Green Bay gave me. If it wasn’t for them giving me an opportunity and a shot, I don’t know how things would have panned out. But in my time there, I was on the practice squad, and I never really felt like part of the team.”
Little used by the Packers, the 30-year-old Levine has emerged as a critical cog for the Ravens defense and special teams. He has amassed seven tackles and two sacks for the former and a unit-leading seven tackles for the latter.
Levine is enjoying his best season as a defensive player since 2014 when he finished with 23 tackles in 16 games (including three starts) despite playing as many as three positions in safety, slot cornerback, and linebacker. Coach John Harbaugh said that versatility has enhanced Levine’s value.
“He’s played excellent on special teams, but defensively, you see him out there and he plays multiple positions,” Harbaugh said. “Is he a safety? Is he a linebacker? A corner? What is he playing out there? He does all of those things equally well, knows the defense inside and out, plays really hard. He’s a fundamentally sound player, an underrated talent, and he’s been a big part of our defense.”
Levine said he does not mind the expanded workload of responsibilities.
“It’s a lot, but the coaches take their time with me,” he said. “They help me out. They walk me through it, and they work with me. Anytime a coach takes his time with me and works with me and helps me develop the way that I have, it’s great. My coaches believe in me, my teammates believe in me. They make my job a lot easier.”
Levine has even earned the nickname “Co-Cap.” He said he is not sure when it was first brought up, but he credited linebacker Albert McClellan with coining it. Levine even had the nickname stitched to the back of a jersey that he wore during Friday’s practice.
“When my teammates call me ‘Co-Cap,’ it’s a sign of respect,” he said. “They respect me and I respect them. … It’s a family. We’re a team and we’re a family. Everybody believes in one another, and everybody pushes one another, and we believe in each other.”