He was a late-round draft pick who turned into an NFL journeyman. But then, after landing in Baltimore, he found a home and has become an impact player. Charm City, meet Lawrence Guy.
WHAT YOU MIGHT KNOW...
• Guy has played for four teams, including the Packers, Colts, Chargers and Ravens. The five-year veteran originally declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season at Arizona State. Out of 254 picks, he was selected by the Packers at No. 233 – far below his expectations. But to this day, Guy has no regrets about the road he's traveled.
"You can't look at the past. It doesn't matter if I stayed or not; I chose to leave, and that's the path I chose. I'm living my path, and I'm pretty happy with my situation right now, because I'm with a great team. If I would have stayed, I probably would have never been with this team, probably would have never been able to play with guys like Steve Smith [Sr.], Terrell Suggs or Chris Canty."
• Guy joined the Ravens during the 2014 campaign shortly after San Diego waived him just three weeks into the season. Following Baltimore's playoff run, the Ravens re-signed him to a two-year contract.
"It means a lot to find a home. Going from team to team, you're trying to find a place where you can settle down, and I felt like once I signed here, it meant a lot emotionally, because this is my family."
• Though he never played alongside Suggs at Arizona State, the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Ravens' all-time sacks leader served as a daily motivational presence while Guy was in college.
"In our D-line room at ASU, there is a big poster of Terrell's face, and every day I saw his poster. I thought, 'Man, it'd be great if I get to play with him one day.' As I was going through transitions with different teams, I got a call from the Ravens. I was like, 'It's about time! I had to see this man's face every day for three years; now I get to line up next to him.'"
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW...
• The most memorable moment of Guy's football career took place when he wasn't even playing. In fact, it happened prior to a game his team actually lost and the Ravens won en route to capturing Super Bowl XLVII.
"I was here for Ray Lewis' last game [in Baltimore] when I was with Indianapolis [for the 2012 wild-card playoff]. It was a bittersweet but heartfelt moment, because we lost the game. To actually be a part of Ray Lewis' last home game, to see his entrance, to see the fans react, that's one thing I can remember forever."
• Lawrence and his wife, Andrea, spent part of their 2015 honeymoon in Italy with Justin Tucker and his wife, Amanda, who were also celebrating their recent marriage. The couples' meet-up wasn't pre-arranged, however. Rather, it was one of sheer coincidence – and it featured a unique movie-star moment.
"We were in Venice eating at a café, and we looked to our left; and there was 'Tuck' just sitting at a table across the way. It turned into a great night when we went to a little restaurant and sat next to Bill Murray. We had no idea it was him at first, and we were tossing out 'Ghostbusters' and 'Caddyshack' lines the whole night. We found out it was him after looking on Google, because he looks a little bit older now."
• With encouragement from Andrea, who is nearing completion of earning a law degree, Guy, too, might someday pursue a career in law.
"In a couple years, I'm going to start studying to get into law classes. Law school is a very interesting thing to do. You get to learn a lot about politics. You can learn about how to argue certain cases or contracts. It can all help out in life. Going to law school isn't a hobby – it's school, but you can apply it to everything that you do in everyday life."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW...
• Brandon Williams is the only Ravens defensive lineman who has played more snaps (380) than Guy (260) this season. Guy's 32 total tackles rank fourth on the team and are first among D-linemen. Additionally, he has posted career highs and team bests in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (six).
• At the Ravens' training facility, Guy's locker is sandwiched between Suggs and Marshal Yanda, and it is just a few slots down from Smith Sr. and Canty. That quartet of standout veterans has provided Guy up-close leadership and inspiration.
"I love it here," Guy recently told The Baltimore Sun. "The people here are like family. I love the coaches. Chris Canty is a great peer of mine, a great mentor of mine, coaches me up. [Marshal] is great to me. It's a good community. I think we thrive as a team because we're so bonded together as family."
• Lawrence and Andrea are especially active in the Baltimore community, regularly taking part in the Ravens' outreach efforts, including their breast cancer awareness initiatives, hospital visits and youth fitness/health events.
"My wife really wanted to get involved with the community a lot. My auntie was born and raised in Baltimore, and I've got a lot of family that still lives in Baltimore. My auntie and my cousin work at the Pentagon, and my other cousins work for the Air Force in Virginia. So, my whole family is in this area."