The Ravens have been working so hard during their offseason conditioning program that head coach **John Harbaugh** wanted to keep his team motivated with a special speaker during a brief team meeting Wednesday.
Little did Baltimore's players and coaches remember but Wednesday was also April 1, otherwise known as April Fool's Day.
"I wanted to congratulate everyone on the start of the offseason program," Harbaugh said to the entire group, noting the progress the team had made since the voluntary workouts began March 13. "This is special, what we're doing. No team in the NFL is doing what we're doing, what our coaches are doing.
"Is that going to win us a Super Bowl? I don't know, but it's better today than what anyone else is doing. We're going to be the best today that we can be."
Harbaugh then introduced his invited guest, whom he called "the best motivational speaker he could find" after scouring the country.
He didn't even need to look outside of Baltimore. At the behest of Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations **Kevin Byrne**, Mickey Cucchiella, the diminutive 98 Rock disc jockey and comedian, took the stage in the team auditorium.
A few shrewd players - who also must have been rock music fans - had puzzled looks cross their faces, but Mickey didn't waste any time getting into the meat of his talk.
"Successful people win, that's the bottom line. Some will say that last year ended one game early," he said, nodding to the AFC Championship contenders.
Then, it was time to roast the mostly unsuspecting Ravens.
First, it was Harbaugh, who sat on the steps off to the side of the podium ready to take his punishment.
"Some people say you judge a man by his character, and some say you judge a man by his friends," Cucchiella joked. "I know coach Harbaugh, and he doesn't have any character or friends.
"Anyone that has known him for a long time has come to the same conclusion - he's [a jerk]. You know it, I know it, but I can say it because I'm leaving in a few minutes."
The raucous laughter and feeling of surprise that filled the room said Mickey had their attention.
"I can't imagine how frustrating it has to be for you guys in August, when you're out there sweating," l continued, pointing out Harbaugh's extensive background in special teams with the Philadelphia Eagles. "It's hot, and he's screaming at you like the 'Little Engine That Could' telling you how to be great players, and this coming from someone that was a special teams coach!
"This guy's biggest claim to fame from the year before was telling the punt team, 'Hey, let's go.' Now, he's your coach. Good luck with that."
Of course, it was all tongue-in-cheek playing around. Because 98 Rock is the Ravens' affiliate radio partner, Mickey has an in-depth knowledge of Ravens football.
He was quick to pick on quarterback Joe Flacco!(/team/roster/joe-flacco/3e20766f-6520-4ca1-9901-44389aaea8b8/ "Joe Flacco"), as well.
"The most important thing to an NFL quarterback has to be his vision, without a doubt," Cucchiela said. "I'm not saying you're blind, but you have to pluck that unibrow. These guys are running through the defense and you're looking through a bush trying to see them.
"You've got a whole grounds crew here to help you out."
Flacco's low-key demeanor during media appearances was also a target.
"Every time you do in interview, I don't want the guys to ask a question, I want him to check you for a pulse," said the comedian. "You're so bad, you make Shaquille O'Neal seem like Flava Flav."
Kicker **Steve Hauschka** felt the wrath because the 23-year-old looks very young.
"You need to get a fake mustache or something," said Cucchiella. "Last year, I wasn't sure if I was watching a Ravens game or a Cub Scout meeting. If you were any younger, coach Mattison would burp you."
Other roastees included special teams coordinator **Jerry Rosburg** - whose bald-shaven head stood out to Cucchiella - defensive coordinator **Greg Mattison** for being one of the more senior members of the coaching staff, and the tendency to jump off-sides for offensive linemen.
"For you O-linemen, you have two basic jobs: stop the guy in front of you and remember when you can move," Mickey joked. "How do not remember when to move?! The quarterback just told you six seconds ago, and you're walking literally [a few feet]."
At the end of the session, it was all laughter in the auditorium. A smiling Harbaugh congratulated Mickey with an official game ball (given to Cucchiella by Brendon Ayanbadejo!(/team/roster/brendon-ayanbadejo/0e939635-1a76-4e0f-a8e4-525731af352f/ "Brendon Ayanbadejo")), and the players and coaches offered a standing ovation.
"My job is to entertain people for a living, and when they told me I was going to come and stand in front of 50 NFL players to make fun of them, I said you're out of your mind," Mickey addressed the crowd, this time seriously.
"But then, the more I thought about it, it was the one time in my life when I can face an entire team and nobody tried to tackle me. … I'm still going out the side door, though."
It might have been a surprise, but all in all, it was a funny way to spend a very atypical NFL afternoon.