Ravens’ James Ihedigbo: “Keep Telling Us We’re Not Good Enough. Just Watch on Sunday and You Will See Otherwise.”January 31, 2013 – 9:40 am by Chris Fedor
James Ihedigbo came into the NFL as an unknown commodity. He had to make his mark on his team through special teams. However, it seems like no matter where Ihedigbo goes, success follows him. The special teams maven played in two AFC title games with the Jets, he went to the Super Bowl last season with the Patriots and he is back playing for the Lombardi this season with the Ravens. Not bad for an undrafted safety out of Massachusetts.
James Ihedigbo joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to talk about being a part of so many winning teams in his career, how much it helps to have Super Bowl experience already, what kind of impact Ray Lewis’ return has had on the team, playing the underdog role all postseason, playing against Colin Kaepernick and what he thinks has happened with the Jets.
On being a part of so many winning teams:
“It’s a blessing being my sixth year in the league and the success I’ve had it’s awesome, it’s unprecedented.
How much it helps to have Super Bowl experience already:
“You can kind of anticipate what to expect with media day, the shenanigans that happen out there, you can kind of anticipate that stuff. But at the same time, you understand the preparation aspect and make sure you put aside that time to study and prepare for your opponent.”
What the return of Ray Lewis has meant to Baltimore’s success:
“He’s our leader, he’s our general and when he spoke to the team guys truly got goosebumps, and not only that, there was a change in that locker room, there was a change when we had that conversation. And I’m not going to go into depth of what was said, but from that point on it lit a different type of fire under us. We got guys healthy, we got guys back in the starting lineup and we continued to play at a high level. When you look at when we played the Giants at home, going on from that point, it was a whole different Baltimore Ravens team.”
Whether playing the underdog role has helped the Ravens this postseason:
“It definitely did. You guys are there in New York, look at what the Giants did last year. They went into the playoffs and everyone thought Eli (Manning) can’t do this, Joe Flacco can’t do this and Eli is not an elite quarterback and they just continued to play top-notch ball when they had to play and won games when they had to win them. They ended up being world champions. It’s kind of the same atmosphere for us. Each game, even though we beat the No. 1 seed, even though we beat Tom Brady and even though we beat Andrew Luck, everyone continues to say we’re not good enough, and that’s fine, that’s just the way we like it. Keep telling us we’re not good enough. Just watch on Sunday and you will see otherwise.”
On squaring off with Colin Kaepernick:
“He’s a beast. He’s a great quarterback. He has the ability, like you said, to beat you running or to beat you passing. Our preparation is everything. You can’t take away any credit from them; they’ve worked hard to get into the position that they’re in, they have a great running game, great receivers, Hall-Of-Famer at receiver in (Randy) Moss, but we have great players over here as well. We have guys that have been doing this for a long time and have been successful doing this, so like I said, preparation is going to be everything and come Sunday we’re going to be ready to go, no ifs, and or buts about that.”
What he thinks has happened with the New York Jets:
“You can’t get rid of everybody and expect to win. You let go of Jerricho Cotchery, and it’s one thing in the league if you’re a young receiver and you bring him up, but you always want to keep that veteran leadership in terms of being able to mentor young players in the way of playing in the NFL, and what it means to be successful. And when you don’t do that, it’s not too often when you’re going to find success. I wish those guys success; I love them all — Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, those are my brothers so I wish them all the best — and I know they’re going to turn this around and get going in the right direction.”