NFL Shot Has Been Long Time Coming For Anthony Levine


The safety was pulled up to the active roster after spending the last three years on the practice squad.

Anthony Levine was getting some fast food last week when he heard his phone ring.

It was Ravens Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg, so Levine picked up before he ordered – and was glad he did.

Rosburg had good news, informing Levine that he was getting called up to the active roster from the practice squad.

"When he called me I just left and went right home. I didn't even order my food," Levin said with a laugh. "I was overwhelmed."

Levine had reason to be excited.

It was his first time making a 53-man roster after spending two-and-a-half years on practice squads. The undrafted defensive back out of Tennessee State had spent the last two years on the Green Bay Packers practice squad before signing with the Ravens just before the start of this season.

He then spent the first 10 weeks of this season on the Ravens practice squad before getting pulled up on Saturday when rookie Christian Thompson went on injured reserve.

"It's been a very long time coming," Levine said. "Spending two years out there in Green Bay and not playing a game, and then coming here, it's really been a long time coming. I'm ready to bust out of that shell."

After getting placed on the 53-man roster, it didn't take long for the Ravens to see what he could do in a game. The Ravens activated him Sunday, his first NFL game, and put him on special teams for a primetime game against the Steelers.

"When they told me I was activated on gameday, I really can't explain it. There's no words," Levin said. "I'm glad that my coaches believed in me enough to activate me and give me that opportunity."

Levine played 13 snaps on special teams, working on punt and kickoff coverage, as well as the punt return team. He did not record any statistics in the win.

Getting the chance on the 53-man roster continues to reinforce to Levine that he made the right decision in coming to Baltimore. He signed with the team after getting cut by the Packers, and said that the biggest initial draw to the Ravens was learning from future Hall of Famers like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

"I had a couple teams that came at me, and when I got the phone call that Baltimore wanted me, the first thing that I thought of was Ray Lewis and Ed Reed," Levin said. "That was really why I signed. To learn from Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, to learn from those two guys, it could only help my career go in a positive direction."

His career appears to be moving in the right direction, and Levine's focus now is to make an impact on special teams. He is not likely to get much time on defense, but is determined to carve out a niche as a special-teams ace.

"My goal is to be an impact on special teams," he said. "To help win games on special teams and to be the best that I can be out there. That's going to be my role and I'm going to play it to the fullest and be the best that I could be at it."

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