Nearly everyone associated with the Ravens turned out for Jonathan Ogden's retirement announcement. Former players like offensive tackle Orlando Brown and guard Harry Swayne and former team president David Modell made their way to the team's training complex in Owings Mills as did current players like quarterback Kyle Boller, center Jason Brown, tight end Todd Heap, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, defensive end Trevor Pryce, linebacker Bart Scott and kicker Matt Stover. Former Ravens and current Detroit Lions guard Edwin Mulitalo flew in last night from Detroit once he got wind of Ogden's announcement.
The news conference started promptly at 11:30 a.m. with a neatly coiffed Ogden in a black-and-silver pinstriped button-down shirt and matching slacks and general manager Ozzie Newsome sitting at a table. Here are a few hastily written quotes from this morning's news conference:
Newsome on Ogden's presence: "For 12 years, we did have a luxury where not at any point against any defender did we have to worry about who was rushing off of that left end because we had Jonathan Ogden."
Newsome on selecting Ogden with the franchise's first pick in the 1996 draft: "Twelve years ago, [former team owner] Mr. [Art] Modell gave me an opportunity to be the head of football with the Baltimore Ravens. We were a young staff. We didn't know what we were doing. ... In that very first draft, we had some needs, but we took the best player in that draft in Jonathan Ogden."
Ogden on being selected by the Ravens: "I want to thank Ozzie for picking me over [former Nebraska running back] Lawrence Phillips. I think that was a good decision."
Ogden on the likelihood of a return: "Oh no, you ain't got to worry about me coming back. That won't happen. That's why it took so long [to make this decision]."
Ogden on his emotions: "It's mixed emotions. There's a huge part of me that's going to miss playing football. ... But at the same time, I realize it's time."
Ogden on his late father Shirrel, who died in 2006: "He's the reason I started playing football. ... Losing him two years ago, it was tough. But I think he'd be proud of me, too."
Ogden on advice for his successor, Jared Gaither: "I would tell him, 'Don't try to be me.' I would tell anybody, 'Try to be the player you can be.'"
Pryce on trying to be physical against Ogden on Dec. 11, 2005 -- less than a year removed from missing the 2004 season with an injured back: "I tried to throw him off. ... In the middle of the play, he said, 'You can't do that. Your back's hurt. Are you all right?'"