Jonathan Ogden, one of the best left tackles in NFL history, is the first Baltimore Raven to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 39-year-old is the youngest Hall of Famer since Gale Sayers was inducted at the age of 34.
Ogden was presented by Ozzie Newsome, the general manager who drafted him in 1996 and still works for the Ravens to this day. When he was drafted, the Ravens didn't have a nickname, mascot or even any colors. "We were all rookies," said Ogden, but he quickly became one of the franchise's faces as it won a Super Bowl in his fifth year.
Ogden gave special mention to his UCLA head coach, Terry Donahue, as one of his biggest influences. He quoted one of Donahue's favorite sayings, "When it's going good, it's not really going that good. When it's going bad, it's not really going that bad." He also thanked Art Modell and expressed hope that the late owner would join him in Canton one day, a comment which drew a smattering of boos from the Canton, Ohio, crowd.
As for his Baltimore career, Ogden credited former head coach Brian Billick for introducing a more reasonable practice schedule. People criticized the new program for making the players "soft," but the Ravens were consistently one of the most physical teams every Sunday. While addressing his Ravens teammates, Ogden said he will meet Ray Lewis in five years (Lewis retired after the 2012 season), and hopes to see Ed Reed whenever he retires.
Odgen was the first player selected by the Ravens after the team moved from Cleveland. He started from Week 1 as a rookie and was essentially an All-Pro type of player from then on. He didn't make the Pro Bowl as a rookie, but was named to the All-Rookie team and went on to make the Pro Bowl in each of his final 11 seasons. He was selected as a first-team All-Pro six times, battling Walter Jones and Orlando Pace for the title of "best left tackle in football" throughout his career.
Odgen won a Super Bowl with Baltimore in 2000 and was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor shortly after announcing his retirement.