The Baltimore Ravens, as a franchise, are known for having some of the most stingy and nasty defenses that ever graced an NFL football field. The players come and go but the defense still maintains that culture. A culture that is presented by four simple words, “Play Like A Raven”. In my time as a fan, I’ve never been able to tell you what those four words mean, but I can point it out on a football field. When I first realized I could point it out, I didn’t point out Ray Lewis, a man who for 17 years WAS the Baltimore Ravens. I pointed out Jarret Johnson.
Jarret Johnson was a 6’3”, 284 pound Defensive Tackle for the University of Alabama when the Ravens selected him in in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. To get playing time, Johnson ended up slimming down and playing Linebacker. And so began the legend of Jarret Johnson.
During his nine year career in Baltimore, Johnson totaled 20 sacks, three interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. One might say, “That seems like very little for a guy you’re dedication an article to.” But that’s the thing, it was never Johnson’s job to be a playmaker, he was the edge-setter. It was his job to square-up the Right Tackle and let everyone else get their shots in. Selflessness, maybe that’s part of playing like a Raven.
I’m not going to lie, I wanted to shed a tear when he left the Ravens. But I was happy that he was getting paid and was even happier to learn that he was doing well. Johnson totaled 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his three years with the San Diego Chargers. As always, he did his job.
Today I am announcing my retirement from the game I love. I lived a dream which few can say but it's time to move on. I want to thank the Chargers organization for giving me a home these past three years. I have nothing but respect for the players, coaches, front office staff and fans that were apart of me and my families lives. It's been a great ride!! I also want to thank my Baltimore family. Where I leaned to be a pro and conduct yourself like a warrior on the field. Where I spent 9 of the best years of my life. @chargers @ravens
Jarret Johnson announced his retirement on Instagram just hours ago. One favorite players no longer in the league, if that isn’t a sad moment I don’t know what is. But at least he gets his career on his own terms and that kind of makes it better. So here’s to Jarret Johnson, a man who did his job and never worried about attention. Let us remember him by one of his shining moments, one of the few moments where he didn’t find attention but it found him.