LaQuan Williams, Other Former Ravens Fighting For Another NFL Shot


Out of sight, out of mind.

That's the mentality that 100 veteran free agents are hoping to change this Sunday in Phoenix, Ariz.

For the first time ever, the league will hold an NFL Veteran Combine today. Instead of rookies working out for NFL scouting personnel, it will be veterans fighting for a way back into the league.

Players will be measured and put through combine drills. Unlike the rookie combine, however, they will not have meetings with NFL teams and will not undergo medical examinations. Videos of their workous will be compiled and sent to all 32 NFL teams.

There are several Ravens connections to the combine.

The combine was the creation of former Ravens center Matt Birk, who is now the NFL's director of football development.

Birk saw veterans slip between the cracks during his 15 seasons and wanted to find a way to bring attention to players who can still play at the game's highest level. Birk received more than 2,000 applications for the combine and had to even turn away some close friends who personally called him asking for a chance to work out in front of NFL executives.

"Guys are fighting for their football lives," Birk told NFL Network's Around The NFL. "They want it as bad as anything and that hurts."

The Ravens also have a few former players that got an invite: wide receiver LaQuan Williams, linebacker Brandon Copeland, running back Cierre Wood and quarterback Trent Steelman.

Williams became a fan darling during his two-plus years with the Ravens. He was with Baltimore for 12 games during the 2011 season, when he caught four passes for 46 yards, and was active for 11 games in the 2012 Super Bowl year.

The former special teams ace spent a week on the Ravens' practice squad last season.

Copeland, the local product from Gilman High School (University of Pennsylvania) signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He made the practice squad out of training camp, but was waived three weeks later. He then spent time on the Tennessee Titans' practice squad.

Wood signed a Ravens' reserve/future contract in January of 2014 and was released at the end of training camp.

Steelman never signed with the Ravens, but he did spend rookie minicamp with the team.

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