Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham started out his career with the Bears and claims that he was used primarily on special teams and never got a chance to play cornerback.
With all the injuries the Ravens suffered this season in their secondary, Graham finally got his shot and has made the best of it. He’s the player that intercepted Peyton Manning in overtime of last week’s playoff game that ended up sealing the win for the Ravens.
Graham claims that Smith never gave special teams players an opportunity to prove themselves.
“Lovie Smith, he loved what I did as a special teamer and that’s what he wanted from me, no matter what,” Graham says. “So I could go out and practice, get six interceptions at corner, but no matter what I was going to be Corey Graham, special teamer. That’s just how it was. That’s what he wanted from me, so I went out there and tried to be the best special-teamer I could possibly be.”
Ayanbadeio started three games late this season at inside linebacker with injuries to Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe. He recently ceded his starting job to Lewis, back on the field after right triceps surgery.
“In Chicago there was no way (Ayanbadejo) was going to touch the field on defense. There’s no way,” Graham says. “Then I come here and I’m watching games and I’m seeing him out there playing and I’m like, ‘Wow, he’s getting a chance.’ And that’s all you want as a player, is a chance to play.”