Legendary 75 Section | **Jonathan Ogden Bio**
BR.com tapped former Ravens teammates from around the league on their thoughts on Jonathan Ogden. In addition, many former opponents talk about the future Hall of Famer.
Patterson High School Play It Smart Academic Coach Kelly Bagdasarian
"Over the past eight years, Jonathan has given his time and support to the Patterson High School students so they can achieve their dreams and reach their goals. He has been instrumental in helping hundreds of students to graduate from high school and go on to college. He is well respected and admired at Patterson. Jonathan will be greatly missed. We are thankful for all he has done for our students."
Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick
"It was one of the highlights of my professional career to be allowed to work with J.O. By any measurement, he has proven to be among the all-time greats at his position, and it will be an honor to see him inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame on the first ballot."
Former teammate Orlando "Zeus" Brown
"J.O. is one guy who never changed from his rookie year until present. He never combed his hair and always studied football. He taught me various techniques. I played with Pro Bowlers such as Tony Jones and Lomas Brown, but J.O. was the best technician and could shut down a defensive lineman. J.O. studied the game like he was playing chess. Many players will not pay attention to the entire game. He knew where a player needed to line up during each snap. He was one guy who made me feel small."
Lions offensive coordinator and former Ravens offensive line coach Jim Colletto
"I want to wish Jonathan Ogden well in his retirement. With both of us being former UCLA guys, I have a lot of closeness to Jonathan, and he's one of the better tackles to ever play in the NFL. It was a real joy to be around him. Jonathan was a guy who had exceptional skills for a man his size. He played like a man who was 5-foot-10. He had a tremendous temperament. It was important to him to do well, regardless of all the accolades or how easy the game was for him. He took it very seriously, and his performance meant something to him. You could always count on him every time to play."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin
"What great battles we had over the years. Jonathan possessed great size, power and athleticism. He was a tremendous competitor and was equally effective blocking the run and the pass. Congratulations, Jonathan, on your remarkable career!"
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher
"Jonathan is, without a doubt, a Hall of Fame player who is one of the very best left tackles in NFL history. We couldn't beat him with speed rushers, and he would just engulf power rushers. Those long arms, the great feet, the strength – he has it all. I also got to know him at some Pro Bowls. What a class act and a good person. It was such a pleasure to get to know him. He's everything the league wants in a Hall of Fame player, on and off the field."
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio
"Jonathan should be included among the greatest offensive tackles to have ever played in the NFL. He had rare abilities; being unbelievably athletic for such an enormous man and very consistent over a long and productive career."
Iowa head coach and former Ravens assistant head coach/offense Kirk Ferentz
"From the very first practice I saw Jonathan, you knew you were next to greatness. I'm not sure he made five mistakes his entire first season. That's just outstanding. His combination of talent and skill are the best I've ever seen. More importantly, he used that to become great. He was detailed about his job from the first day, and he gave full attention to the techniques of playing the line. Like great running backs with 'vision,' Jon always saw the whole field, which made him a tremendous help to teammates during a play. You all know what a good person he is, but he's also a great competitor. What a pleasure to see him battle a Michael McCrary in practice. We could have charged money for those confrontations. With his tremendous pride to be the best, and he is, he has earned all the acclaim he has received as one of the best to ever play on the offensive line."
Former teammate Mike Flynn
"Thinking about my best memory, the easy one is always going to be the Super Bowl. I think that's what is always going to be the first choice. But, I think one of the most satisfying years we had was in '03, when we led the league in rushing. At the time, it was really just the running game, and teams prepared for that every week. We had the 295-yard game, but really the biggest one was the finale in Pittsburgh, when Jamal [Lewis] finally got over the 2,000 mark. Being out there in the huddle late in the game was a great moment. We looked around, looked in J.O.'s eyes and realized that we were part of something special.
"Jonathan is the type of guy that was a student of the game. It was amazing how much knowledge he had about football. He could be an offensive coordinator right now, I'm sure of it. I think as much knowledge as he had and how well he played in his career, he wouldn't accept anything less than the best. Some guys think that even though they can't play as well as they did when they were 24, they can still contribute in other ways. For J.O., he was frustrated if he couldn't play as that 24-year-old. He just demanded perfection, and you saw that every time he stepped on the football field, even in his final season."
Colts Pro Bowl DE Dwight Freeney
"It was always a battle out there with him. I knew I had to bring my 'A' game because he was going to bring his."
Lions RBs coach and former teammate Sam Gash
"J.O. is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, hands down. I was fortunate to play with him for three years in Baltimore. The year we won the Super Bowl, I could vividly remember getting there knowing that anytime we needed to run we could run left to his side. He guaranteed yardage, and that was a great thing about him. I had great respect for him because he didn't care for backs to chip (block). He didn't need help. He wanted to always do it on his own and be the guy by himself. That was ultimately what I respected about J.O. He was truly a man's man, and he was an anchor for the offensive line in Baltimore. Jonathan Ogden is the best left tackle in both pass protection and run blocking that I ever played with, and I've played with some good ones."
Pro Bowl RB and former teammate Priest Holmes
"One thing I could say about Jonathan Ogden is that I would always see him reading books. He always had a book in his hand, and it was some Star Wars trilogy-type book. He read all the time, and we always knew that there was a lot more to him. A thinking person. Always thinking, always having a lot of different things going one, in terms of how to become a better person and how to actually maximize his performance.
"I think he's a tremendous offensive tackle, one that was dominant in the game. I remember in 1998, he basically helped usher me to rush for 1,000 yards in my second year. He's always been someone that I admired. I think he's given a lot to the game of football. I think the NFL is definitely going to miss his presence and definitely Baltimore will miss him as well."
Former teammate Qadry Ismail
"I played with some of the top guys like (12-time Pro Bowler and former Vikings G) Randall McDaniel, and I loved how he made things look easy. When I came to Baltimore, J.O. was in that Randall McDaniel mold, but at the most important position on the offensive line, left tackle. Jon made the position look so easy. That's what impressed me. Guys would go one-on-one, and I'm sitting there shaking my head because no one got by J.O. He just would engulf you, but his athleticism prevented a guy who was a speed rusher on the outside from getting up the field. He would just put his hand on you, and he was strong enough, like, 'Ho hum, you're not getting a sack today.' That was how I looked at J.O. His run-blocking skill sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. No more were these skills shown than in that run from 1999-2003, when Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes really dominated in terms of running the football. A lot of that running game came on J.O.'s side."
Browns Pro Bowl RB and former teammate Jamal Lewis
"J.O. is one of the more humble guys I've ever played with. He led by example and was never outworked. I've never seen anybody protect the left side the way he did. He was a great leader both on and off of the field, and I wish him well in his retirement. It was an honor to play with one of the best left tackles in the history of the NFL."
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis
"Since the day he arrived in Baltimore, Jon has been part of the foundation of the Ravens' organization. As a football player, his talents are at the very top. He is the type of player who made those around him better, and he was a joy to game-plan around. Conversely, coaching against J.O., you knew your player was going to be in an uphill battle every snap against Jon."
Former teammate Michael McCrary
"Jonathan was a very unique offensive lineman. Because of his intelligence, athletic ability and desire, you can put him in a class all by himself. This makes him one of the top offensive linemen in the history of the game. He was one of the best pass protectors I have ever played against which, in turn, made me a better player."
Former Ravens owner Art Modell
"Ozzie (Newsome) sure made the right pick as the first drafted player in Ravens history. We could not have made a better choice. Jon is impressive when you first meet him because of his size. Once you know him, you are impressed with the man, his intelligence, his passion for the game and willingness to help. Could the Ravens have a better person to represent the franchise? I don't think so."
Lions G and former teammate Edwin Mulitalo
"Everyone knows that Jonathan is a great player. He will be in the Hall of Fame in five years. I want to say thank you to him. It has been a pleasure to work with him throughout my career. Playing next to him helped make me successful during my first eight years in the NFL. I am forever grateful to him. He taught me a lot on and off the field."
49ers head coach Mike Nolan
"I would like to congratulate Jonathan on an outstanding career as one of the greatest offensive linemen to play the game. He has a rare combination of size, quickness and athleticism, but more importantly he had the mentality to play one of the most challenging positions in football as a left tackle. His contributions to the NFL and the Ravens will lead to his induction into the Hall of Fame. I was fortunate to spend time with him when I coached in Baltimore. It is and will always be special to work with and be around Hall of Fame players. I had that chance with Jonathan. Again, congratulations on your outstanding career, and I wish you well in retirement."
Former Broncos and current Ravens DT Trevor Pryce
"Playing against Jonathan, which I've done on a couple occasions, is like marching into battle by yourself. You stand there looking at J.O., your enemy, and he's a complete army. He's got the size and strength of three guys – all at the same time. Facing him was no fun. The thing I've always been so jealous of is how effortless he made it all. He was so light on his feet, it just seemed like it didn't take much effort for him to play as well as he did. In my mind, he could play another five or 10 years if he wanted to."
Dolphins Pro Bowl LB Joey Porter
"Jonathan is one of the all-time best ever to play the position. He always made me play at the highest of my abilities – otherwise he would embarrass me."
Former Pro Bowl DE Simeon Rice
"He's one of the best of the best. He was always a class act on the field and one of my favorites to go against because you had to be so prepared to play him. You knew that he was working hard, which forced you to step your game up, so he would bring out the best in me. He worked so hard every day of his career and was an absolute neutralizer on their offensive line. I congratulate him on a Hall of Fame career."
Browns GM Phil Savage
"Jonathan Ogden was an incredibly gifted player. The Ravens made a very wise decision when they decided to draft him with the fourth overall pick in 1996. To this day, I can still remember him putting on that non-logo hat as the Ravens' first-ever draft choice. What many forget about Jonathan is that he played guard as a rookie. But even then, he exuded greatness and gave glimpses of what would turn out to be a Hall of Fame career as a left tackle."
Bills Pro Bowl DE Aaron Schobel
"He was one of the best that has ever played the game. He was a great, smart player. He was one of the toughest guys I ever went up against. With the size and quickness he had, he could do a lot of things, and he did them easily. He would put you in a bad situation from the beginning before the snap with his size and before you lined up. Like I said, he was one of the best I ever played against."
Hall of Fame LB, 49ers assistant coach and former Ravens LBs coach Mike Singletary
"I'm thankful he wasn't playing when I played. He has so much class, and he's a nice guy off the field. On the field, he just knocked people around and played with a mean streak. He was a 'mainstay' guy for the Ravens."
Ravens Assistant Director of Player Development and former teammate Harry Swayne
"When I got here in 1999, I already knew about J.O., just from watching him. J.O. and I were roommates at my first training camp, so we had lots of time to talk, and he's such a smart guy. It was easy to get to know him. He's a great kid. I called him 'Baby Huey' – I know he's a big guy, but I called him that because he has a baby face. I found the buttons to push to get him going, although he really tried hard not to let anybody know what got him going. He's a real competitor. Having developed a pretty good eye for how things could be done better on the field, I talked to J.O. about such things. He's really not a person that you can holler at, but reasoning with him is good. He always wanted to be the best, and he became that.
"At the time, he was a single man, and I watched him mature into a father and husband. In this game, you don't just mature as a football player, you grow as a man. So, he was becoming one at the time we met. He became a good influence and leader for the young guys on the team."
Dolphins Pro Bowl DE Jason Taylor
"Jonathan Ogden was simply the best. He set the standard. The man was an absolute giant on the field, and I always looked forward to playing him because I knew he would bring the best out of me. He's a great guy as well…just never mistake his meekness for weakness!"
Legendary 75 Section | **Jonathan Ogden Bio**