Talented Rookies Have Lifted Ravens

Talented Rookies Have Lifted Ravens

The question seemed to catch Kelechi Osemele by surprise.

The Ravens' mammoth first-year offensive lineman had just returned from having his photo taken for the network telecast of Sunday's Super Bowl showdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

Back at his locker, Osemele had a microphone thrust in his face and was asked: "What makes this rookie class so special, with a lot of guys playing key roles?"

He thought for a moment and smiled.

"This group is really hungry ... guys who wanted to come in here and make an impact, make a difference and make a name for themselves," he said of a group that also includes kicker Justin Tucker, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and running back Bernard Pierce. "We just kind of all came with the mindset that we were here to stay and we were going to come in here and, if need be, take somebody's job to make it a better football team.

"Guys who came out with that kind of mindset flourished and they stayed — and guys who didn't got cut," he continued. "That's the name of the game."

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