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Marcus Spears Conference Call

On why he chose to sign with the Ravens:"It's a [great opportunity]. Also, the credibility that [general manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] has [with] players, and I talked to a few guys about what are the standards and what are the goals, and it seemed like a great fit for me. So, it was a pretty easy decision to make."

On what role he expects to play on the defense:"I think any time you play the 3-4, and you have a solid rotation with your D-linemen, it gives you a chance to be a real good football team on defense. Looking at the guys that are already there, it's a no-brainer. Obviously, you guys won a Super Bowl last year and had a lot of great players perform well, but the opportunity to play with [Haloti] Ngata and [Terrell] Suggs and, hopefully, Ed Reed – I am keeping my fingers crossed – it was just something that you can't pass up. Then the guys on the D-line … You kind of keep an eye on the teams that are doing well when you are playing for someone else, and I thought it was a great fit. Also, having Chris [Canty] sign with you guys earlier before I did, I thought it was just a great opportunity."

On how much he thinks the chemistry between he and DL Chris Canty will help on the defensive line:"It's always good to have some recall with guys that you've played with, and also are friends with, so you're not really coming in alone. You have somebody that knows you; you have somebody that knows how you work. Also, we'll bounce things off of each other. We're both going into our ninth year, so we've become, hopefully, better players, I would like to say, and also to use some things that we may not know from each other. But, the guys that are there, and having Chris there, it's a comfort level. There [are] a lot of veterans that have been playing for a while on that defense. That's always a great situation because they understand game-type situations, and adjustments are a lot easier to make. Just to be in that role as one of the guys that can come in and try to contribute immediately, it gives me a great sense of where I am with the team."

On if he has been informed of which position he will play the most:"Left [defensive] end probably will be mostly. They move guys. They move guys around a lot. I know they try to give [Haloti] Ngata a lot of matchups, try to expose guys on offense through him, so you have to be flexible. And I think that's what gives us a great chance to be good up front, is that a lot of guys can play a lot of different positions. When you have that flexibility, I think it gives you an opportunity to play a bunch of guys and keep guys fresh."

On what comes to mind when he thinks about the Ravens as an opponent:"You obviously think defense. Guys have been playing great defense. A winning football [team], been to the playoffs year in and year out. You guys have an elite quarterback – well, we have an elite quarterback – I need to stop saying that. You just credit them to being a really good football team and contenders every year with an opportunity to win the big show. So, to be a part of that is a no-brainer for a guy like me that is going into my ninth year, because we are all striving to try to get that hardware. Every guy from last year has it coming in the mail. Hopefully, we can reincarnate what happened last year and move it into this year and try to get that shiny thing put on my finger."

On how fortunate he feels to have played eight seasons with one team in Dallas:"It was a great time. It was a fortunate situation because, like you said, it is rare. I think it's a credit to Dallas, I think it's a credit to myself and my teammates. I think a lot of things have to work out for you to end up staying in one place for eight years. Obviously, they did, and it was a total blessing for me to be able to. But, I am almost as excited about this opportunity to come play in that market with that football team, and I've seen how the city has welcomed me and responded to me signing, and it just has me to an excitement level [where] you almost feel like a rookie again. So, to have that opportunity is great. But, my years here have been great in Dallas, and I will never forget it for the life of me, but to try to make new memories and hopefully win a championship with Baltimore is a great opportunity for myself."

On accelerating the deal with the Ravens: "Actually, it was real easy. My agent, who's Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson, they have a good rapport with [general manager/executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome]. I think they shot each other straight. They knew what I wanted as far as the contract went, and Ozzie was able to get there with it. It was an easy process, and usually, things take time when you're dealing with a guy who has been in the league this long and is 30 years old. You want certain things to match up and line up well. [I] was fortunate enough to [sign] in Baltimore, and to have an opportunity to play with this football team was a no-brainer."

On signing with the Ravens early in free agency: "Yes, it happened pretty quickly, which I was glad about because I didn't want to get to the end of the thing and be scrambling and trying to figure out who I was playing for, and having to move the family a week later and stuff like that. We got it out of the way, and now it gives me time to get myself situated in Dallas, and my family also for us to be able to come down there and be comfortable. I get a chance to work out with the team before we actually start organized football. It just worked out well. It's a great situation."

On if other teams were interested in him: "There were a couple more teams that were interested. Kansas City was interested and Jacksonville and New England had shown some interest also. It was four teams that were real players as far as entertaining offers and trying to be in the best situation. Guys, to be honest with you, it didn't take me any time once I heard Baltimore wanted to sign me. That was it. I wanted to try to get it done with the Ravens, and we were able to, and I'm happy about it."

On starting from scratch again: "Absolutely, I think it gives you the opportunity to be new; new scenery, a new team. They do things differently around there. I was able to tour the facility when I was around there, and that was an unbelievable place to be. You guys are lucky to have that. There's just an aura around the whole organization. Everybody has a quiet confidence about what they can get done. They go about their business. They work hard. They practice hard. The guys are close. Hopefully, it will continue to be that way. I just want to come in and be a part of the puzzle. I'm not one of those guys to come in and try to stake claim: 'This is my territory, and I'm not going to do this, and I'm going to do that.' I just want to come in and flow in with the guys and be able to make some impact plays during the offseason and help us win ballgames."

On being a run-stuffer: "That's been my role for a while. I take a lot of pride in teams not running the football on the defense that I'm playing on. Obviously, offenses are good, and guys are going to break through a few times, but all-and-all, you want to be a real good defensive team up front. A lot of people say that the NFL has turned into a passing league – which the guys that throw for a lot of yards and are able to throw touchdowns – it does help you win games. But, [if] you can't stop the run, you have a long season ahead of you as a football team. Just coming in, hopefully give that to the football team, and work to be in a position where we understand each other and play off each other. This game is a team game. Up front, I really believe that guys around you make you better. That's how I like to function as a D-lineman. I think having Haloti [Ngata] and Chris [Canty] and Arthur Jones and all the guys that have been playing on the D-line here, I think having a rapport with those guys and being able to work together early, we can get a feel for each other. And, it will make us a better D-line for sure."

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