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Late For Work 1/31: Ozzie Newsome Makes Hall of Fame Case For Art Modell

Posted Jan 31, 2013

Reed could see himself as a Patriot. Deer antler spray not banned. Denver mayor pays up.


Ozzie Newsome Makes Hall of Fame Case For Art Modell

Art Modell is up for Hall of Fame consideration this weekend, and Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome is doing everything he can to get the former Ravens owner inducted.

Newsome even wrote a guest editorial for the Cleveland Plain Dealer to emphasize to Cleveland fans that Modell should be enshrined.

I am a Cleveland Brown and I will always be a Cleveland Brown,” wrote Newsome, who had a Hall of Fame career in a Browns uniform. “I was proud to wear that orange helmet for 13 years and represent all those great Browns fans who were so good in supporting my team throughout my career.

“Although I love the Baltimore Ravens and am proud to be the team's executive vice president and general manager, I never played for this team. I am a Brown. … And I believe Art Modell should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

Newsome knew Modell as both a player and an executive, as Modell hired Newsome to be the first black general manager in NFL history.

The biggest factor keeping Modell out of the Hall of Fame is that he moved the Browns franchise to Baltimore in 1996. When Modell was a Hall of Fame finalist in 2002, Plain Dealer writer Tony Grossi spoke up against Modell during the selection meetings.

Grossi is still on the selection committee, and Newsome is hoping to convince him and the other voters that Modell should be selected this weekend.

Newsome still commands much respect in Cleveland, and he conveyed his message to Browns fans who are opposed to Modell’s enshrinement.

“I know many Clevelanders will never forgive Art for moving the team,” Newsome wrote. “I understand that. But he didn't want to move the team. As I look at it, because he took over the running of Cleveland Stadium -- and he did that at the request of a mayor of Cleveland -- his finances were never what they should have been in just owning an NFL team. In the end, to stay in the business, Art moved. But Cleveland got its new stadium shortly after and the Browns still exist today and they play in a beautiful home. Why that couldn't be done for Art's Browns, some of us will never understand.

“But this is what I believe: Art Modell should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I hope he makes it this time. … And, if he does, I will be sad that it didn't happen when he was alive.”

Deer Antler Spray Not Even Banned

A big storyline throughout Super Bowl week has been Ray Lewis’ alleged use of performance enhancing drugs to recover from a torn triceps, which Lewis and the Ravens have denied.

A report in Sports Illustrated said that Lewis used a deer antler spray extract, which contained a banned substance.

However, The Baltimore Sun talked with experts on performance enhancing drugs who said that even if Lewis did use the spray, it didn’t contain a banned substance.

"There's no way to deliver insulin-like growth factor one in a spray," said Charles Yesalis, who built a reputation as one of the foremost voices on PEDs during a 20-year career as a health and sport science professor at Penn State. "That's just nonsense that the people marketing it say so doofuses buy and use it."

 

Ed Reed Could See Himself In New England

Ed Reed’s future in Baltimore is very much a question mark, as the veteran safety is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He has been hit with questions about his future throughout Super Bowl week, and on Wednesday he entertained the idea of becoming a Patriot after this season.

“Yeah, oh yeah man,” Reed said when asked if he could see himself in a Patriots uniform. “I could definitely play for coach [Bill] Belichick. He is a great coach. I’m sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I’m ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it’s huge.”

Reed and Belichick have a mutual respect for one another, as the two make a point of talking up the other each time the Ravens and Patriots match up.

"It's the reason why I wear my sweater cut off a little bit,” Reed joked. “He's the first guy I saw like, 'That's cool.' You know, that's cool. … It's just a blessing to even have met, to know coach Belichick."

Reed did say some teams would have to be “weeded out” because he has too much respect for Baltimore. So I wouldn’t plan on seeing him in black and gold.

Reed reiterated preference is to stay in Baltimore.

“I always said when I came into the league and got drafted that I didn’t want to be one of those guys jumping from team to team,” Reed said. “If it was up to me, I would be right in Baltimore. If it happens to be somewhere else, I can play football on the moon.”

Newsome plans to sit down with Reed after the season to talk about his future, as Reed said that he could see himself playing a few more years. Newsome said on media day, and during a press conference last week, that the organization wants to keep Reed in Baltimore.

“I’m going to sit down and talk with Ed once it’s all said and done,” Newsome said. “I know he’s totally focused on winning this game in his hometown, and then once the air clears, Ed and I have gotten to a point where he and I can really talk man-to-man, and I think we’ll be able to have that conversation a week or two from now.”

 

Quick Hits

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has finally paid up on his bet with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to do his rendition of the Ray Lewis dance. Hancock and Blake made the bet prior to the Ravens-Broncos game, but Hancock had to wait to show off his moves because he was hurt and unable to dance. He finally paid up this week and even issued a good luck message to Lewis.

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