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How Fatherhood Has Changed 5 Ravens


It's easy to see football players only by the name on the back of their jersey.

But when the purple and blacks come off, a number of Ravens players go by the name "Dad."

The Ravens have had an explosion of births recently. In honor of Father's Day, here's what several players had to say about being dad:* *

QB Joe FlaccoFlacco has two boys, Stephen and Daniel, who are both under 2 years old.

"It's definitely changed how I spend time in the offseason. Me and my wife look at each other and wonder what we did before we had them, because you're wrapped up in those guys 24-7.

Now obviously you get your time to work out and do things like that, but when you're not doing that, you're totally with them trying to groom them and make sure they're doing the right things."

"Our oldest is going to be 2 next month and he's getting to be a lot of fun, repeating everything we say and running around. I've got to be very careful. I'm used to talking in a locker room, and when I go home it's a little different than that. We can't have him repeating locker room words at the age of 2. I think I'd be in trouble if that happened. If he hears it from somebody else then I'm off the hook, but I can't have him hearing it from me."

"This offseason I've basically been a stay-at-home dad. My wife does all the work, but I've been there to do a good amount. I've enjoyed it, but I'll also enjoy getting back to work a little bit so I can get off the hook with that stuff."* *

FS Terrence Brooks
Brooks' first child, Carter, was born in May, a week after he was drafted.

"It's been a lot. The baby's not even just it. Coming from the national champions to getting ready for the Senior Bowl, then the combine, then the draft is here, then the baby coming. It's all been crazy and hasn't stopped yet."

"I'm still learning how to be a dad and still getting used to saying I have a son. But it's truly a blessing to have that kid. I'm pretty sweet with it. I'm really good at the diaper thing. Even the swaddling, I'm the master at that. That's one of my greatest talents: swaddling."

"I would say learning the defense is tougher [than being a new father]. It's kind of a deadline-type thing. You need to know it by this time. As a dad, you can kind of make mistakes along the way and learn it as you go."* *

TE Dennis Pitta
*Pitta's first child, son Decker, was born last April.

"It helps you put things in perspective. You really understand what's important when you have a kid. You understand that family comes first and everything you do is for your child. Before you only think of yourself as a football player. Now you're so much more than that. It gives you extra motivation on the field because now you're working to give them a better life."* *

WR Torrey SmithSmith's first child, son Torrey Jeremiah* *(T.J.), was born in April.

"I have a child. That means a lot be there to be able to take care of him, and my family as well. That all kind of goes together for me. The baby kind of adds another little chip on my shoulder. I want to be the best dad I can be."* *

DT Brandon Williams
*Williams had his son, Ryder, during his 2012 senior season at Missouri-Southern State. *

"It made me realize that there's somebody else depending on me other than myself. It made me work harder than I've ever worked before because I knew somebody else was relying on me to be the bread winner. My game had to elevate. It was like, 'I've got to do good!' I worked my butt off for him to make my dream come true so he could have stuff that I didn't."

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