On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Aug. 01, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Training Camp Military Appreciation Day The first M&T Bank Stadium practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. This practice – free and open to all fans – coincides with the Ravens’ annual Military Appreciation Day. Approximately 3,500 special seats will be reserved for active service members and veterans who present valid military identification upon check-in at the stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 6:00 PM EDT Training Camp Fireworks Night On Saturday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m., the second M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the organization’s third-annual Fireworks Night, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show.
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Mon., Oct. 03, 2016 5:00 PM EDT A Purple Evening A Purple Evening is back! Join Purple on Monday, October 3rd for on-field drills, player appearances and autographs, giveaways, and much more! Tickets will go on sale soon. Check Purple-Just for Women on Facebook for the latest club and event information.
  • Sun., Oct. 23, 2016 7:30 AM EDT Purple Away Game Trip Up the Jersey Turnpike we go! Hit the road with the Purple Club on Sunday, October 23rd to watch our Baltimore Ravens take on the New York Jets for a 1:00 p.m. game at MetLife Stadium. Don't miss your chance to join the only NFL women's fan club to travel into unfamiliar territory!
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 2:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016

News

Print
RSS

Vonta Leach Re-Signs With Ravens

Posted Jul 29, 2013

After testing the free-agent market, fullback Vonta Leach is coming back to Baltimore.

The Ravens’ bruiser is back.

Baltimore re-signed Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach Monday afternoon, reportedly to a two-year deal.

It comes two days after tight end Dennis Pitta was lost for the year. While Pitta’s loss is a hit to the passing game, Leach’s addition should boost the Ravens running game.

When the Ravens released Leach in mid-June after a contract restructure couldn’t be agreed upon, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said there was still a chance Leach could return. Turns out, Newsome was right yet again.

After not drawing much interest on the free-agent market, Leach came back to the city where he won a Super Bowl.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Leach was in the process of signing as Monday’s practice ended. Leach went through a workout and passed his conditioning test.

“He’s in shape and ready to go. And we’re pleased to have him back,” Harbaugh said.

“Having Vonta back gives you a physical presence for sure with your offense, short yardage, goal line. Also, it’s a leadership presence.”

Leach, who went to the Pro Bowl in both of his two seasons in Baltimore, will add more muscle to the Ravens offense. Even though Leach had a shrinking role last year, he was still a valuable tool in clearing holes for Baltimore’s running backs.

The Ravens run game ranked 11th in the NFL last year with 118.8 rushing yards per game, and 10th in 2011 with an average of 124.8. Leach helped running back Ray Rice go to the Pro Bowl both years.

Leach, 31, is also very well-respected in the locker room. On a team that is now without strong veterans like linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed and wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Leach’s return helps provide more leadership.

“I feel like I never left,” Leach said. “What you miss is the guys, being in the locker room and being with the guys. I’m just happy to be back in the locker room. Now let’s go to work.”

Leach’s locker was just as he left it, with name plate and all. He sat on his stool, responding to well wishes on his phone as teammates one by one welcomed him back.

 Quarterback Joe Flacco said he is “great friends” with Leach. Flacco and other Ravens players still went to Leach’s football and cheer camp in North Carolina in late June, when Leach wasn’t even on the team. Ravens players, such as linebacker Terrell Suggs, lobbied for Leach to “come back home” on Twitter.

The Miami Dolphins had long been rumored as the favorites to land Leach, but they decided not to make him an offer. The New York Giants and Houston Texans also reportedly showed interest, but not as much as the Ravens.

“Obviously we’ve been hopeful that this would happen all along,” Harbaugh said. “This is not something that we weren’t hoping for, and it worked out in our favor."

Newsome kept in touch with Leach about once a week throughout the process, and the market for fullbacks wasn’t strong, as the position is being somewhat phased out of the NFL.

Leach said that at times it felt more likely that he would land in Baltimore, and other times that it felt like he was heading elsewhere.

“It was at times a frustrating process, but I know it’s a business and that’s how it goes,” Leach said. “Unfortunately I know all too well that it’s a business. I had to be patient and continue to stay in good shape not knowing where I was going to be this year. But I’m glad I’m here.”

Leach had a shrinking role in Baltimore’s offense last year as it went to more single-back sets with more receivers. He played just 22 snaps in the Super Bowl, for example.

The Ravens also drafted versatile Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round this year, and were happy with his progress throughout offseason training activities (OTAs), minicamp and now the start of training camp.

But having Leach back is an added bonus that should help the Ravens in multiple areas. Leach said he isn’t worried about his role moving forward.

“It’s just like always. I’m here to help the team and do whatever I’ve got to do,” he said. “I don’t care if I play 50 snaps or 200 snaps, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be ready to play when my time comes.”

Leach said it should only take him a couple days to get back in the swing of practice and start crushing defenders. And once again, fans at M&T Bank Stadium will be calling out, “Leeeach!”

“I’m ready to hear it,” Leach said with a grin.

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos