Rookies Ready To Help Title Chase

Courtney Upshaw, Kelechi Osemele and Bernard Pierce give their take on the AFC title loss.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Former Temple running back Bernard Pierce wasn’t yet a Raven, but he felt the pain of the Ravens’ AFC championship loss last season.

“I was actually upset because a caliber of a team like this should have definitely made it all the way,” he said during Sunday’s introductory press conference.

Now the Ravens’ newest draft picks will be relied on to help bump Baltimore over the top and into the Super Bowl.

Baltimore didn’t make a big splash in free agency, and isn’t expected to from this point forward. Thus, the primary source of new blood will come from the rookie class.

Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw is quite familiar with what it takes to seize the hardware. He won two national championships at Alabama in 2009 and 2011.

Upshaw is known for having big performances in big games. He was named the MVP of the BCS championship after a dominant defensive showing. He had three sacks in Alabama’s final two bowl games.

“I am ready to strap on the pads and be a part of this,” Upshaw said. “We all watched the [AFC championship] game. Coming off of a championship of my own, I am ready. I love winning games, and that’s what they do here.”

Pierce said he followed the Ravens pretty closely last year. The Ardmore, Pa. native (just northwest of Philadelphia) said he likes watching Ravens running back Ray Rice.

“I actually kept up with the Ravens a lot last year,” he said. “The loss was tough.”

Second-round tackle/guard Kelechi Osemele dittoed his teammates’ comments on watching Baltimore’s title loss. He was on a Cyclones team that went 20-30 over his four years playing in the Big 12. Osemele was happy to join a winning franchise.

“It’s a great team, great organization, and they know how to win,” he said.

Tags: , , , , ,