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What Opponents, Teammates and Coaches Said About Marshal Yanda

G/T Marshal Yanda smiles on the sidelines with his teammates.
G/T Marshal Yanda smiles on the sidelines with his teammates.

As a teammate, friend and leader, Marshal Yanda touched a lot of Ravens' lives. He left an imprint on his opponents, too.

Here's what those who have worked/played with and against him said about Yanda, who announced his retirement Tuesday following 13 seasons and eight Pro Bowls:

Owner Steve Bisciotti

"When I hear the phrase 'Play Like a Raven,' my mind jumps to players like Ray Lewis and Marshal Yanda. Each came into the league underappreciated and became Hall of Fame-type players. They found ways to become the best at their positions. For Marshal, it was all about his hard work and dedication to be outstanding.

"This is typical of Marshal's toughness and resolve. In 2016, he moved from his normal right guard position to play left guard through a shoulder injury rather than go on Injured Reserve. He did what he had to do to help the team, and my admiration for that is the greatest compliment I could pay him.

"Marshal became a strong leader and teammate and left an indelible mark on our organization. He did this with great support from his wife, Shannon, and their three children, Graham, Logan and Libby. Congratulations to the entire Yanda family.

"It won't be long before we add Marshal's name to our Ring of Honor. That will be a special day for the entire Ravens family, including the fans."

Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome

"There's a phrase in this organization: 'Play Like a Raven.' If I had a billboard and could post it somewhere, on [Interstate] 83 or somewhere near the stadium, and put players on there that I felt like played like a Raven, Marshal Yanda would be one of the first to go on that list. He was tough, competitive, smart and had a unique respect for the game as well as his teammates. I just want to congratulate you, Marshal, on a great career, and I know sometime in the future, as I have been told, you will be getting your mail in Canton."

General Manager Eric DeCosta

"Just a quick story – I was thinking about this last night. When I started as a gofer, Ozzie and I used to run every day with Kirk Ferentz, who was our offensive line coach [from 1997-98], and we became really, really good friends. [In] 2006, we had just finished 13-3, and I was scouting players. I would always go to Iowa, and Kirk and I would always run at some point during the day. We would run through the campus, and I had just finished watching tape for about six or seven hours, and we went on a run and Kirk said, 'What did you think of him?' And I said, 'Who?' Because I had a whole bunch of guys, and he said, 'That right tackle of ours.' And I said, 'He is a hell of a player, Coach. I think he would be a great guard.' And so, as the process went along, at some point in the spring of that year, 2007, I got a book sent to me in the mail. I think it was called Season of Life. It was a book about a local story about Gilman [School]. Kirk had sent that to me, and I sent him a thank you note. And the thank you note has been on my bulletin board now for about 13 years, and this is the note. It says: 'Coach, thanks for the book. I look forward to reading it someday. Yanda to the Ravens at 61, mark it down.' Well, we traded our pick that year, [when] we had the 61st (laughter). It was the second-to-last pick in the second round, and we were on the clock, and Ozzie decided we were going to trade that for two third-round picks. So, our first third-round pick didn't work out so well. Our second third-round pick, I think we nailed it, and it was this guy [Yanda]. So, Kirk Ferentz sent me this [note] back after the draft, and he said: 'DeCosta, you were pretty close. – Kirk.' So, for the last 13 years I've kept this on my bulletin board, and this guy has always been very special to me and I think to the organization."


Bengals DT Geno Atkins

"When I tell my son or daughter about football [someday], I'll tell them he was one of the best guards I went up against in the league. He's got nastiness, he's physical, and he has finesse. He's strong, but if you try to beat him with a little finesse, he can handle that, too, because he's got good feet. He's got the whole package."

Jaguars DE Calais Campbell

"Yanda is a legend and someone I've admired since the day I started playing this game. I have always loved playing against him and have learned so much from him. He played the game the right way, and I'm happy and excited for his next chapter. I wish him, Shannon and their entire family nothing but the best."

Texans DE J.J. Watt

"Marshal is one of the best I've ever played against. A consummate professional who gave everything he had on every play and then shook your hand with respect after the game. He was an absolute pain in the ass to play against, but he's a true competitor that I have the utmost respect and admiration for. Congratulations on one hell of a career and wishing him all the best in retirement."

Titans DT Jurrell Casey

"Over my career, playing against Marshal Yanda was one of the best and most competitive experiences I have had. It's him and a handful of other offensive linemen that I keep track of, that are talented enough for me to always keep them on my radar. Yanda is one of those guys. Playing against him upped my game, because I understand that when you go into those games, you have to bring your lunch pail and your hardhat. That guy is going to come to work. If it's pass blocking or run blocking, he's got it all. You better have your 'A' game ready, because if not, he's going to embarrass you. The battle was always there, in my mind two great players going against each other. It'll be different now. He's held the title for a long time of one of the most dominant players in the game on the offensive line, and it'll be great now to see who comes in after him and fills that role.

"I remember back to 2014 when we played; that's when I really saw and understood what type of player he was. The dominant way he came out in that game was unbelievable. The way those guys were coming off the ball so hard, like battering rams, just teeing off. That's when I'm like, 'OK, this is a different brand of football playing against these guys.' That year their line was unbelievable. You better be thinking going into those games, 'Hey, no slacking today,' because you know you're playing against a true competitor. Sometimes you go into a game like, 'I know I can wear this guy down. He's going to quit.' But no, not with Yanda. He's a guy that's going to fight all four quarters. That year I definitely saw that and knew what kind of guy he was going to be from then on."

Buccaneers DT Ndamukong Suh

"Marshal is a great player whom I have a lot of respect for and enjoyed gearing up for. From everything I have heard about him, Marshal was a tireless athlete, which was definitely reflected on the field. I never saw him quit. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap

"When I came into the league 10 years ago, before I played against Yanda, I was told to keep my head on a swivel, because No. 73 was always looking for more 'work.' D-ends will know what I'm talking about — the cleanup blocks and the rib shots throughout the entire game. After playing against him, I respected it because it was only between the whistles. That was his nature — to compete and do his job every play, then go see where else he could fill a void and help his team. He was a great player, competitor, opponent and pro. Happy retirement! After a decade, I am looking forward to not having to look out for you!"

Former Steelers DE Brett Keisel

"Marshal dominated the guard position for over a decade in the NFL. I enjoyed competing against him because of the way he played the game: tough, smart, and physical! Our Steelers/Baltimore matchups were legendary because of the war that was going on in the trenches. We brought out the best in each other because of what was at stake – the [AFC] North [Division] and a chance at the Super Bowl! Congratulations, Champ, on a job well done and a fantastic career!"

Colts C Ryan Kelly

"Marshal Yanda set the standard in toughness, consistency and leadership. The way he worked and continued to develop throughout his career is something I truly admired. Any young offensive lineman in this league, especially an interior lineman, should look to model their game after Marshal's. I was honored to have been able to share my first Pro Bowl experience with him, without even knowing it would be his last. He is a Hall of Famer in my book. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in retirement."

Colts G Quenton Nelson

"When preparing for an upcoming game, I always looked to see if the Ravens had played the team we were going against so I could watch Marshal and see how one of the best to ever do it at the guard position did his job on every single play. He consistently played at a high level."

Former Browns T Joe Thomas

"I've known and respected Marshal for a long time. Our careers had a lot of overlap, starting with our days in the Big Ten and then in the AFC North. I always admired his toughness and work ethic. He played at an extremely high level for a long period of time and left everything on the field. He is one of the best to ever do it. He earned so many awards and honors over the years, and I think the next one should be an induction in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame."


OT Ronnie Stanley

"Marshal has been that stable rock for our offense, and he's that guy who when there is a tough decision to be made, we would go to Marshal for advice. He was always the wisest of us all. It's going to be tough to lose that type of person and leader.

"When I first entered the league, I tried to learn everything I could from Marshal. I just respected the way he played football, his work ethic, how humble he was and how good he was at the same time. I tried to just watch the way he prepared, watch the way he conducted himself. I knew I couldn't do everything exactly the way he could, but I could learn different things from him, and he was always willing to be helpful and listen and give me great advice through the years. He really helped me out along the way, and we'll definitely miss having Marshal around."

OT Orlando Brown Jr.

"It's difficult to put into words just how much Marshal means to me, because he's been so significant in my development as a pro. I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for me, let alone the game of football. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer as a football player, a father and a friend. I'm very happy that he's able to walk away on his own terms with a healthy body. I know he's pumped to spend the days ahead with his kids and wife. I pray for many more blessings for him and his family."

TE Nick Boyle

"It was an honor to be in the same huddle with Marshal Yanda. He has so much passion for the game, and he helped inspire his teammates to be the best players they could be. His leadership and approach to the game were second-to-none. Marshal is the ultimate teammate, and we'll miss having him in the locker room."

RB Mark Ingram II

"I've always known about Marshal Yanda and had heard about him over the course of my career and about him being an elite offensive lineman. But for me to join the Ravens last year and to be able to experience the type of person he was, the type of teammate he was in the locker room, I gained so much respect for him. Marshal is a guy who was always preparing himself at the highest level. He made sure he was always ready to go and prepared to play at the highest level possible.

"One thing about Marshal, on Sunday, is you didn't have to worry about him being ready to play. Every Sunday he was ready to go, he brought the energy, and he brought the competitive nature to our locker room. He's just a true warrior, a true dog that you want to be out on the field with. You don't want to play against him, but you want to suit up with him. That's for sure.

"Last year, the identity of our entire offense began with the offensive line, and that identity started with Marshal. He brought that physical mentality, toughness, smart play. He's just a guy who wanted to dominate the opponent on every single play, and he was relentless in the way he performed.

"I'm happy for Marshal, because he deserves to leave the game on his own terms. But selfishly, I wish I'd have gotten more than one year to suit up with him. He's amazing. He always had his teammates' backs, looked out for the best interest of his teammates, and when you have a guy who does all that, you don't have a choice but to elevate your own game to that level. Every person on that offense, every person on that team tried to match his intensity, and it made us all better for it."

K Justin Tucker

"Marshal is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and that may be just a small part of his football legacy. He is the best example of what it means to be a great teammate – selfless, constantly working, relentless, tough, poised and incredibly skilled. He is an excellent leader. He made our team better in many ways and is one of the main reasons we have Super Bowl rings. Furthermore, and more importantly, he's a great friend and family man. I'm honored just to have had the opportunity to play with Marshal, and I'm grateful to call him a friend."

LS Morgan Cox

"Toughness and intensity are what come to mind when I think about Marshal. He has a 'get the job done, no excuses' approach to life and football. There are countless examples of his toughness over the years, but one that stands out is when he broke his ankle in 2017 and walked off the field under his own power like nothing was wrong. He is an intense competitor, and I found out quickly that I should never high-five him after a big play unless I was willing for my hand to be numb for the rest of the day.

"In the 2012 playoffs, we played in Denver, and it was negative 15 degrees outside. Marshal thought it would be a good strategy to cover his chest in water so it would immediately freeze and make it harder for defenders to grab him. He always put the team and winning first, no matter what extreme measures it may take. There is no one you want on your side more than Marshal when you're going into a fight. He's a great friend, teammate and person. I'm thrilled for him to carry the same intensity and focus into the next chapter of life."

P Sam Koch

"Marshal Yanda is first class in every way. It was an honor to watch how hard he played the game and the way in which he handled himself around the facility. He was an outstanding teammate and leader all throughout his career.

"Not often do you see a guy who, from the get-go, played the way he did and showed through example how to be a true professional. You look at somebody like Marshal, and you try to replicate everything he does. Whether it was in the weight room, during practice or in meetings, he had the utmost respect for his duty. He inspired everybody in our locker room.

"Marshal is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. Players who get picked for the Hall of Fame have every trait that Marshal Yanda does. They take care of their responsibilities, they are phenomenal in the public eye, they play with tenacity, and they want to become better every single day. Marshal Yanda is the epitome of what you'd call a Hall of Famer.

"We have a friendship and bond that I'll cherish the rest of my life. I'll always be there to help support him in any way possible. He and his family are great people – honest, trustworthy and a blast to be around. In order to be successful in life, you should try to surround yourself with people like Marshal Yanda."

Former Teammates (and Hall of Famers)

Hall of Fame OT Jonathan Ogden

"I'd like to congratulate Marshal on an outstanding 13-year career. The toughness, work ethic and attention to detail I saw in him as a rookie were traits that helped define his career. His progression from being a leader on the line, to a leader on the offense, to THE leader of the team was a joy to watch. Hopefully, in another five years, he will have an opportunity to join Ray [Lewis], Ed [Reed] and me with a gold jacket and bust in Canton."

Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis

"Congratulations, Marshal! There are few men you come across and know immediately that they are special, and you felt that with Marshal Yanda. When you think about who you would want as a teammate, Marshal is at the top of the list. His effort every day to be the best at his craft was amazing to watch. Every time he stepped on the field, you knew you were getting everything he had. He is a true stand-up guy who always tried to make the people around him better. Not only could I play with him, I would do anything in life with him. Marshal is one of the best players in franchise history. In my mind, he truly is a certain Hall of Famer. It was an honor to play with him."

Hall of Fame S Ed Reed

"Marshal Yanda was the teammate who defined accountability. He was the part of the engine that made the offense go and was always a leader with his actions. I love Marshal Yanda. I love him for being a great man and love him for coming to play football every day. Congratulations on a legendary career."

Former Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs

"When I think of Marshal Yanda, I think of a blue collar, selfless player who defines what it means to 'Play Like a Raven.' He was a great teammate who challenged us to be the best we could be as a team and as individuals. I will always remember our battles on the practice field, but even more, I will remember the times talking and learning from him in the locker room. Congratulations on a great career. The game will miss you."

Former DT Haloti Ngata

"Marshal, congratulations to you and your family on an amazing career. One thing that amazed me the most about you is your versatility. I always knew our offensive line would be fine as long as you were playing and knowing that you can play all positions across the line. Thanks for your friendship and for not beating me up too bad in practice. Congratulations again. You are the best to ever do it. Raven for LIFE. Love ya, brother. Ps. Send me the invite for fishing and hunting, LOL."

Former LB/DE Jarret Johnson

"One thing that makes the Ravens special and different than most teams is that they have a stereotypical player that they're always looking for and never deviate from: tough, smart, good guys, football guys. That's the recipe and the personality that you must have to be a Raven. There is a long history of guys that fit that mold, and Marshal is near the top of that list.

"He's a great guy, a family man first, very humble and down to earth. He's got all the Midwest values, but when he steps on that field, he becomes a different person. He's extremely competitive, one of the toughest individuals I've ever been around and so versatile. I think he's played every position across the offensive line but center, and he's probably played center at practice. Starting out a tackle and then moving to guard … And even when he started out as kind of a younger guy and learning from 'J.O.' [Jonathan Ogden] and some of the other guys, being a role player and then working into that bell cow role where he is the lead dog, the alpha dog. He might not be the voice of the team always, but when something needs to be said, he's going to be that guy. You can't ask for a better Raven than Marshal Yanda.

"I wish Marshal and Shannon and the family all the best, and his mom and dad, his aunts and uncles and all the ones who … You know, Marshal's family was at almost every game. They were such a big part of not only his life, but the scene in the parking lots and at the team hotels when we were at away games. They were always around, and everybody got to know them. The Yandas kind of became the Ravens family, because they were so involved. I wish them all the best."


Head Coach John Harbaugh

"As a coach, you can never ask for anything beyond what Marshal did and gave. He even said some good things lately.  He started some good pep talks, too. I would look at Marshal and say, 'You got it, right?' And he took it, but more so by example, more so by the way he played and the way he worked, every single day, like the video said, the grind of it. We had a saying a few years back that was Marshal's saying: 'Embrace the grind.' We made a T-shirt. That says it all. I think that is what Marshal did. He embraced every bit of his career, made the most of it. He is, in my opinion, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and on behalf of all the Ravens – our organization, the players, coaches and the fans – thanks for everything you did."

Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick

"You could tell from Day One that Marshal had something special. He had grit and toughness and was fearless. He worked at his craft, and the game wasn't too big for him. It's hard to distinguish yourself when you play in the interior of the line, but he did. He did it at such a level that his name will be up on the facade at M&T Bank Stadium before too long. It was a privilege to coach Marshal."

Ravens Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris

"When you think of Marshal Yanda, three things come to mind: tough, physical and a finisher. It has been an absolute pleasure to coach and be with Marshal for the past three seasons. He's the ultimate pro, and I define that as how he takes care of his own personal business, as a professional offensive guard, his preparation on the practice field, his work in the classroom and how he produces on gameday. All those contributions are a factor in his success. He is nothing but the best. As a coach, that's what you ask for, and from Marshal, that's what you got every day.

"Coaching Marshal Yanda has been just a blessing. As an offensive line coach, you don't come across those types of people and players all that often during your career. So, it's been a blessing for me to coach a young man who takes care of his teammates and his business every single day.

"No doubt, we'll see him enshrined in Canton, Ohio, one day. An eight-time Pro Bowler, and just the way he carries himself – he's the ultimate pro. He uses the quote, 'Just do your job,' and he really practices what he preaches. From his preparation, to getting his body ready mentally and physically, to his preparation in the classroom, on the field and gameday production – he's worthy of all the praise and recognition he receives."

University of Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz

"Marshal, congratulations on your retirement from the NFL! From the first day we met you as a recruit, it was easy to see the love you had for the game of football and the determination you had to be the best player you could be. You embodied everything we look for in a Hawkeye – hard work, determination and toughness. While you may have come to Iowa as an unheralded recruit, it was your drive, commitment and mental toughness that led to an outstanding career. You helped set a standard on our offensive line that still is present today.

"Once you started playing in the NFL, your commitment to the training, the preparation and the competition never wavered. I always appreciated how focused you were to your craft and was thrilled that we could continue to help you along the way. It became so common to have you around in the offseason, I could practically set my watch by your old blue pickup truck as you pulled in the parking lot for your training workouts.

"You have never sought the spotlight – only the satisfaction that comes from hard work and a job well done. And today, you have a Hall of Fame-worthy career in Baltimore. It's been a pleasure to watch you grow and develop, and it has been an honor to play a small part in your journey. As great of a player as you have been, you've been an even better person and teammate.

"Congratulations, Marshal. Even if your football career is over, you are welcome in Iowa City anytime. I'll look forward to seeing the old blue truck in our lot again soon."

Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman

"You can't emphasize enough what an asset Marshal has been. His toughness, his teamwork and his leadership are as good as you could ask for. His performance, especially last year, he was the perfect fit for our offense when we made the switch a year-and-a-half ago midstream.

"He's a 307-pound offensive guard that plays like he's 335 pounds. I actually worked him out at Iowa when I was first with the Ravens, and he had an uncanny core strength to him – probably from working on the farm growing up – that I really hadn't seen before or since. When you're trying to create an offensive lineman, the mentality, the work ethic, the toughness, the strong mindedness – Marshal Yanda is the blueprint.

"Marshal served as a great mentor to young players coming into the league, showing them how to be a professional, and he always competed every day with a lot of pride. That really showed up in his work product. This past season, he helped lead the greatest rushing attack ever in the NFL. He was the cornerstone that I really built that thing around up front, for obvious reasons. We broke the New England Patriots' [1978 rushing] record when John Hannah was a Hall of Fame guard on their team; I definitely would mention Marshal in the same breath as John Hannah."

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