Ravens notebook

Tyree is still managing to hang on

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / January 7, 2010

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. - He no longer plays for the Giants, but Ravens wideout David Tyree still lives in infamy in New England, where he is not-so-fondly remembered for making a 32-yard circus catch (trapping the ball against his helmet) that set up New York’s winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII.

“I’m sure they don’t show that anymore in New England,’’ Tyree said yesterday at the Ravens’ practice facility. “It’s probably been banned from television there.’’

At the time, though, Tyree didn’t grasp the magnitude of his memorable third-and-5 catch.

“It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel afterwards and saw it on TV,’’ he said. “Obviously, when it appears in your face, that’s when you’re able to take it in. But now when I see it, it’s a quick snapshot back in time that, for me, causes me to appreciate that moment that much more.

“For me, personally, it’s caused me to think about God’s grace in my life and how it allowed me to be a part of NFL history in such a way. It’s been a little while since I’ve been in Foxborough. It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere to go back and play a great football team.’’

Tyree wasn’t with the Ravens when they came to Foxborough Oct. 4. He signed with Baltimore as a free agent Oct. 13 after the Giants released him Sept. 5.

Given his Super Bowl catch, one would think New York would have made Tyree a Giant for life.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be, but it’s not the way things turned out,’’ he said. “I think the greatest blessing is that I’ve been able to fall into the lap of a great organization, get healthy, and be productive for this team down the stretch, knowing my role with this football team from a special teams point to a leadership capacity. So I’m extremely excited about heading into these playoffs kind of steamrolling.’’

Tyree was asked to compare his Super Bowl catch with the one Santonio Holmes made for the Steelers in their Super Bowl triumph last year.

“If he missed that catch, he would’ve been messed up for life,’’ Tyree said with a laugh. “But if I had missed mine? People would’ve said, ‘Oh, he didn’t catch it,’ and life would’ve gone on. We would’ve gone on to the next play. But his was a textbook catch. He made a great play.

“Mine? It was an absolute miracle.’’

Oh brother
Ravens coach John Harbaugh took some ribbing yesterday when it was noted that he had been referred to as “Jim’’ in a Patriots press release. He is in his second year as an NFL head coach and his brother is head coach at Stanford, but the 47-year-old Harbaugh said it was not the first time he’s been confused for his younger sibling. “It’s an honor, man. It’s an honor,’’ Harbaugh said, laughing. “Jim Harbaugh is my bro, and I’m proud of him. I’ve been called Jim my whole life. He’s been called John occasionally the last two years. I’m proud of it.’’ . . . In his conference call with the Baltimore media, Tom Brady was asked about the perception that he gets preferential treatment from the officials in the pocket. “Oh, I’m begging for preferential treatment if they’ll give it to me,’’ he said. “I just don’t think they’ll give it to me all the time. So I’m trying to butter up to those officials before the game and during the game so that we do get a call once in a while. If it helps our team win, I’m all for it.’’

The limited
Linebacker Tavares Gooden (groin), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (ankle), cornerback Marcus Paschal (back), safety Ed Reed (groin), and guard Marshal Yanda (knee) had limited participation in yesterday’s practice . . . Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, attended practice yesterday. Meanwhile, a Ravens logo was emblazoned outside Baltimore’s City Hall, no doubt an attempt to deflect attention from the forced resignation yesterday of Mayor Sheila Dixon, who reached a plea bargain on perjury and embezzlement charges.

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