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Ravens Dedicate Win To Former Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks


Clarence Brooks was known for his big heart, for the way he took players under his wing both on and off the field.

He was also known around the Under Armour Performance Center for his … colorful … language.

The Ravens dedicated Sunday's game to their former defensive line coach, who passed away Saturday after a courageous battle with cancer.

And after Sunday's comeback 25-20 victory in Cleveland, the Ravens chuckled thinking about how Brooks was reacting to the game as he watched from Heaven – especially after Browns running back Isaiah Crowell ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

"I know he's resting in peace, but I'm pretty sure he was mf'ing us too with that run," linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "I know he's pissed off, but I know he's happy we won too."

Brooks was in charge of scouting opponents' run games and scheming up Baltimore's run defense. The Ravens have long had a reputation of stuffing their opponents up front, and that's in large part a credit to Brooks' work.

In the postgame locker room, linebackers Coach Don "Wink" Martindale painted the perfect picture of the scene up in Heaven during the first quarter. Harbaugh retold the story at his press conference.

"They just let him into Heaven and that first run play popped and they had to give C.B. a timeout. He was going off. [They're like], 'Did we let this guy in here?'" Harbaugh said with a laugh.

"Then they got him calmed down and we started playing better run defense and we started hitting the quarterback, and C.B. was doing a little better today. But that was for him. That was for Clarence Brooks."

In Saturday's team meeting, players and coaches talked about Brooks and how to keep moving forward despite a heavy feeling in their hearts. Baltimore has also had to overcome the offseason death of cornerback Tray Walker, who passed away from injuries sustained in a motorbike accident in March.

"These are the things of life," Harbaugh said. "We all have to deal with these things in life; this is what life is. It's the same in football as it is in life or whatever job you have, whatever your family situation is. We're kind of like a family, we're together every single day. These things affect all of us."

On Sunday, Harbaugh received an email from Director of Player Engagement O.J. Brigance, who has courageously fought ALS for more than nine years. The email said, "The Ravens are forged by adversity."

"That just seems to be the Raven way," Harbaugh said of the message.

Harbaugh didn't know a 20-point deficit would be part of that adversity. Outside of the 85-yard rushing touchdown, Baltimore's defense gave up just 60 rushing yards and shut out the Browns over the final three quarters.

"We fought like C.B. did," nose tackle Brandon Williams said. "He was definitely in our hearts and there with us the whole time. We were definitely thinking about him. We went out and kicked ass."

Defensive end Lawrence Guy said it was a "very emotional 24 hours" for the Ravens. He texted with Brooks' wife Saturday night and she said she would be watching every game. That was motivation enough for Guy to come out and play for her and Brooks.

"I dedicated this season to him," Guy said. "The whole D-line, we're playing this whole season for C.B., because he was a mentor, he was our leader. We just want to make him proud up there."

The defensive line coach joined the Ravens in 2005, leading the unit to dominance year after year.

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