*As Baltimore native Michael Phelps racked up an unprecedented eight gold medals and seven world records at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, many Ravens were keeping a close eye on what the swimmer was accomplishing. *
Phelps' final race was even broadcast over the SmartVision boards at M&T Bank Stadium Saturday night after the Ravens' preseason contest against the Minnesota Vikings to the delight of the thousands of fans that remained post-game.
Here is what was said in Monday's locker room about Phelps' incredible feats:
K Matt Stover
On Phelps' medal count:"I've met him a couple of times on the sideline. I'm so proud of him, and he's a Ravens fan, so that is an added bonus. He's down to Earth. He seems to have a certain humility to him. He's been beaten before - not many times - but when he has, it's taught him.
"He's got this passion and spirit that you need to have to be able to go out and compete like he does. His competitive spirit is unmatched in any Olympics I've ever seen."
On if he would place Michael Phelps in with the greatest athletes of all time:"Oh, absolutely. He's got to be in the top three athletes in the world of all-time because of what he's been able to accomplish. And, he's a young guy. It's not like he's 40, like me. [laughter].
"He's been able to accomplish that very quickly, and that just shows his resilience and ability to keep everything in perspective, along with his composure. Sometimes, the youth can bring about some bad things in these situations, but he's got his head on squarely. You can't say enough about a guy like that."
LB Bart Scott
On Phelps winning all the individual events in which he participated:"It's like boxing, where it's pretty much competing against yourself. In a lot of those races, he doesn't have a teammate to lean on, so it's tremendous. We rely on the team. It's amazing! Competing against the best in the world and still being able to break that record is tremendous."
On how he respects what Phelps' put his body through after a grueling eight races:"Absolutely. That's like us playing three consecutive games. To be able to race every day and having to qualify and all that, I don't know how he did it. He must have the strong mind and spirit to compete at such a high level."
LB Terrell Suggs
On Phelps' accomplishments:"That's amazing. It was like watching history right before your eyes for him to be breaking records and keep going in there and knocking it out and winning by miles and then winning by inches. It was an emotional roller coaster. It was just an exciting thing to see. He was waving all those [medals] and was like 'I'd rather watch the Ravens play than enjoy my medals.' I was like 'Are you crazy?'"
On Phelps' place in history: "He's just an amazing athlete. This year alone he's put himself up there with the Michael Jordans and the Tiger Woods, and it's just amazing what he's doing. To know that he's a Ravens fan is even better. He gets to come home, and we get to play in front of him. That will be kind of awesome in and of itself. I think it's really cool what he's doing."
QB Joe Flacco
On his reaction to the Phelps phenomenon:"I have to admit, it's pretty exciting to have a guy like that from this area put on such a show. I saw a few of his events live, and then caught a few on replay. The one close relay and his butterfly race were incredible. It was just crazy that he could win when it was so close."
On if he could challenge the 6-foot-4 Phelps to a swimming race:"Absolutely not. I would sink like a rock. Maybe he can give me some tips next time he's on the sideline."