The Ravens faced some tough roster decisions today in regards to putting together their best 53 players who will battle each and every Sunday for their opportunity to win the Lombardi Trophy.
As the team begins preparations for their week one match-up, the oft talked about offensive line is set and no one is happier to be a part of the team than rookie John Urschel.
“Every team made some tough decisions today, the Ravens no exception,” Urschel stated at the podium on Saturday.
“The fact that I’m still here says something about them believing in me, and I don’t want to let this organization or my teammates down.”
Urschel acknowledges a big reason he made the roster was largely in part to the advice given to him by veteran A.Q. Shipley who was subsequently released clearing the path for the math wizard to be a Raven in 2014.
“I’d say less ‘competed against,’ and more just grew with. He’s a Penn State guy; I’m a Penn State guy. We became very good friends while we were here. He’s a guy that really took me under his wing [and] taught me a lot of things.”
“[He’s] a guy who didn’t have to help me, considering that I’m a young guy [and] he’s a veteran. [But he] helped me every single day and really just helped teach me how to be a pro in this league.”
Urschel struggled on occasion throughout minicamp but picked up the pace throughout training camp showing comfort in the Ravens new offense.
“I feel like I’ve made some really big strides in a lot of things. One of the biggest things is my versatility – being able to play different positions,” Urschel stated about his improvement over the last few months.
“Another thing is just getting used to the speed of the game, and that’s just [dependent upon] experience – in-game experience, in-practice experience against some serious veterans, guys like Haloti [Ngata], Chris Canty. Chris Canty … That’s a guy that, when I was in high school, I loved watching him play for the [New York] Giants – things like that.”
While it’s doubtful the Ravens are done forming their 53-man roster even though final cuts have been made, Urschel is just happy to be in the teams plans for 2014 and possibly beyond.
“It’s an honor. Honestly, it’s a dream come true for me. This is something I’ve been working towards for a long time, and now that I’m here, [my focus is on] working every single day to stay here and get better.”
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