John Harbaugh talks about Clarence Brooks' funeral and the Ravens upcoming game against the Raiders. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens spent Tuesday and Wednesday celebrating the life of former defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, who died Sept. 17 at age 65 after battling esophageal and stomach cancer.
Players, coaches and employees flew on planes chartered by owner Steve Bisciotti to Massachusetts to attend a viewing for Brooks on Tuesday and then the funeral Wednesday. Three players – wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., right guard Marshal Yanda, and center Jeremy Zuttah – represented the team at Wednesday's ceremony and did not practice in Owings Mills. They were joined by linebacker coach Don "Wink" Martindale, defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt, and defensive coaching assistant Drew Wilkins.
Coach John Harbaugh, who attended the viewing, called it an honor to be there.
"We had a team prayer this morning for Clarence and his family," Harbaugh said. "And just to see the family, to see the people in their town, to see how much he was loved, to see the little ones running around, the nephews, nieces, cousins, it was just a really great moment in terms of family and seeing the family that CB had around him and the family he built in so many ways. So I told the guys today, 'We see how he affected us every single day here and the lives he impacted – the guys who are here and the guys over the years.' It was cool to see the impact he had on his hometown and with his own family."
Nose tackle Brandon Williams, who attend the viewing with defensive linemates Carl Davis, Brent Urban, Kapron Lewis-Moore, and Lawrence Guy, was appreciative of Bisciotti for helping allow the players to say goodbye to Brooks.
"lt sucks," Suggs said of Brooks' passing. "He was smiling to his last day, and that's the kind of guy CB was. We're going to miss having him around here. His spirit still lives on around here. He's always going to be around us, and we love him."