Baltimore Ravens

Ravens recruiter Eric Weddle makes his pitch to free-agent receiver Dez Bryant

Three Ravens players were asked Tuesday about the possibility of adding free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant, whom the team has interest in acquiring, sources have told The Baltimore Sun.

New wide receiver Michael Crabtree was rather dismissive of the hypothetical: "I don't talk about potential or nobody that's not on my team," he said. "I'm sorry."


Quarterback Joe Flacco was struck by the similarities between Bryant and former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, a similarly big-bodied target: "[Boldin] was a guy that, even if he didn't have the separation, it may have taken me a couple of games, but you got used to throwing him the ball and trust that he was going to get it. And at the end of the day, in order to win big games, you have to have guys that can do that because eventually you're not going to have guys running wide open."

Eric Weddle, who helped recruit fellow safety Tony Jefferson and running back Danny Woodhead to Baltimore, again copped to taking a more personal interest in Bryant's destination. He said he's reached out to the former Dallas Cowboys star, whom he called "an amazing player, passionate, competitive, everything you'd want in a teammate."


The Ravens likely will be relatively limited financially in what they can offer Bryant, who last season had 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns. But Weddle said that "if we've got a shot at him, we'll see what happens."

Weddle's pitch: "From the position coaches to the players, this is a unique family organization, from top down. And there's no egos. It's about the team. It's about winning and everyone's personal agendas get set aside once you come to this building. That's how you win, and I know we've come up short, but we've progressed every year and my belief is it'll all be worth it in the end."

One of the few cons, he acknowledged: "The winter sucks."

End zone

During running back Alex Collins' visit to Ireland last month as part of an NFL UK tour with Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, New York Giants safety Landon Collins, Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi and former NFL coach Rob Ryan, he picked up a new touchdown celebration. "I can't wait to show you guys," said Collins, whose love of Irish dancing propelled him to a national spotlight last season. … Ravens head strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders said even after a year devastated by season-ending tears and breaks, his focus is on improving performance, not preventing injury. He also touted the Ravens' progress in his strength program last year, noting that the team's able-bodied players had made gains over the course of the preseason and season. "I think it's a fallacy that guys can't get stronger during the season," he said.