At 32, strong safety Eric Weddle is the elder statesman of the Ravens' secondary, edging free safety Lardarius Webb by a little more than nine months. And there are times when that age shows.
Late in Friday's practice at the team's headquarters in Owings Mills, Weddle dove to bat away a pass from quarterback Ryan Mallett intended for tight end Benjamin Watson. After the play, Weddle lay on the turf for a long second or two before getting back to his feet.
But Weddle insisted that he still considers himself on the young side.
"I'm not getting old. What do you mean?" he said Thursday. "I haven't even hit my prime yet. Shoot. Did you see me running out there? It was amazing.
"I think you don't take it for granted," he continued. "I get more excited as each year passes. Who knows what the future is and how many years I have left? I try to treat
each day like it's my last. If this is my last season, who knows what the future holds? You don't know. I don't know. I'm going to give everything I've got for my teammates and this organization to try to get us back in the playoffs and win a championship. I think I get more excited and enjoy the little things, where before, you'd drag on with more meetings, getting up early. Now you relish that kind of stuff. You try to tell the young guys that it doesn't happen often, that you get to play this long, so you better enjoy it."
Weddle hasn't shied away from being vocal as he was on Thursday when he bantered with running back Danny Woodhead over whether he set an illegal pick that freed him for a touchdown catch. Woodhead, who played with Weddle for three
years when they were members of the San Diego Chargers from 2013 to 2015, said he enjoys the verbal jousting with Weddle.
"It's always fun to talk back and forth," he said. "It's a lot of fun. We come out here and we're practicing for however long it is, and you want to have fun. It's a game. You want to compete against each other. Yes, it's our teammates at the end of the day, so we want what's best for each other. But I want to beat him when I'm out there. I don't want to lose. I want to win."