Former Ravens defensive lineman Larry Webster has decided that he wants to be forever known as a Raven.
Webster was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round in 1992 and spent three seasons there before going to Cleveland in 1995, then making the move to Baltimore with the franchise.
Webster spent six years with the Ravens (1996-2001). He was a 16-game starter in 1999 and reserve defensive tackle in 2000 during the team's Super Bowl run.
Webster finished his career with one season with the New York Jets in 2002.
Q: How's it feel to retire a Raven?
"I'm happy to finally do it after about 17 years. That's where I won my Super Bowl. I couldn't retire with any other team but the Ravens. I got all my glory with the Ravens. Not saying the other clubs were bad, but I won my Super Bowl there, so can't take nothing away from that."
Q: Take me back to that 2000 defense. What was it like playing with so many great defenders on that 2000 defense?
"Those guys weren't just teammates; they were friends. We battled through thick and thin, which you could tell with the defense we became. We put in hard work not only on the field, but off the field, getting to know each other. We were brothers. We held each other accountable. We knew that me, as an individual, playing on that defense was a team thing. If I didn't get the job done, Goose [Tony Siragusa], Sam [Adams], Lional [Dalton], Rob Barnett, Michael McCrary, they wanted me off the field. We held each other accountable. So I knew I had to pick up my level of play to maximize my playing time with the guys around me."
Q: You were a 16-game starter in 1999 and a backup in 2000, but did you feel that 2000 defense brought the best football out of you?
"Yes, I believe it did. I faced a lot of adversity in life. That made me stronger. They brought in Sam Adams, which didn't bother me. Of course, everybody wants to start, but my level of play didn't drop from the starters. Every play I got, I felt I was the starter. I played as the starter even though my name wasn't the first one being mentioned. I still played at that level. Same with Lional Dalton and Keith Washington and all the second-tier guys. It was like the starting team and then you had the second team that was like another starting team. We played like we were starters. We saw the results of it."
Q: How proud are you to be part of arguably the best defense in NFL history?
"Very proud of myself. Very proud of my teammates. 'Goose' really sat me down and taught me more about the game. I thought I knew it, but when he started teaching me the nuances of the game, my knowledge really expanded [I know he didn't say this, but this is the right word]. Not only having Sam Adams, Rob Barnett, Mike McCrary and all the rest of the guys. Along with Rex Ryan, our defensive line coach. And then Marvin Lewis, he was a stickler to detail. If you were supposed to take one and a half steps, you better learn how to do it. I wasn't as talented as Sam. Sam had a gift and he could get off the ball like no other. I had to work at it at practice every day. There wasn't a day in practice that I took off."
Q: Being from Elkton, Md., how cool was it to win the Super Bowl with your home team?
"I couldn't be prouder of being home. For it to come full circle – to start out in Miami, wind up in Cleveland and move with the franchise back home, and to wind up winning the ultimate prize, the Super Bowl, in my hometown? Hey, that was a feeling like having your first child or getting married – those moments that are unexplainable."
Q: Are you still around the area?
"I'm still in Baltimore County. I'm working with the Howard County Sheriff's Office. I'm what they call an SPO – a special police officer – working at the Circuit courthouse. I still go back to the stadium and watch a game here and there."