New Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe spoke to the media for the first time since being acquired from the Jaguars on Thursday, and expressed excitement to be joining a winning organization after a career marred by losing.
During his five seasons with Jacksonville, the team went 22-46 with 8-8 being its best record. Since 2009, the Ravens have gone 45-21 with four playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title.
So this should be new to Monroe.
“It’s different,” he told reporters. “Being down in Jacksonville, not winning many games, but you having so much change, a lot of which has been positive and the results for those guys just haven’t showed up on the field yet. But I know what they’re building down there, and it’ll come. But to come into a situation like this with a culture of winning is unique. It’s something that I really haven’t been around, so it’s exciting to experience this. ...
“It’s definitely a fresh start - refreshing to come to a new environment, a new city, one that my family is familiar with. So, that part of it makes everything else easy, the transition for us. We’re definitely appreciative and excited about this.”
Monroe said he was sitting at home going over game film on his iPad, preparing for Jacksonville’s upcoming matchup with the Rams when he heard about the trade.
“My agent calls me and he’s like, ‘I need you to sit down. I’ve got to talk to you about something.’ And I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” Monroe said. “But it happened, and it happened quick. It’s an exciting change for me. I’m definitely glad to be here - glad that I was sought out, definitely appreciative of that. And my wife, she’s from here, her family lives right outside of here, so for her, the transition will be nice. For me, it’s just an awesome opportunity.”
Monroe’s wife is from Columbia, Md., so it marks a bit of a homecoming for the two University of Virginia alums.
Whether that will come with getting on the field right away remains to be seen. Monroe practiced with Baltimore Thursday, but wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to get up to speed in time to play at Miami on Sunday.
“We’ll see. I literally just got in, did the physical this morning, hopped in meetings late,” he told reporters. “So physically, definitely ready. I’ve been playing every week, totally healthy. We’ll just see what happens. ...
“I see the challenges just being the learning curve - coming into a different offense with different terminology. A lot of things on the O-line, as far as techniques and assignments, have some similarities, but when you’re speaking a different language, you have to be on page with the other guys or it’s not going to be a good outcome. So overcoming the learning curve and getting acclimated with how things are done around here is going to be the big challenge.”
Monroe is in the last year of the rookie contract he signed after being selected eighth overall in the 2009 draft. But he doesn’t envision just being with the Ravens for the rest of 2013.
“It doesn’t look like they brought me here the way they did to not have me here for a long time,” he told reporters. “But again, I have to do my thing on the field, prove that I deserve this opportunity, which I’m fully confident that I will. ...
“Obviously, I would (be interested in an extension), being that this is my contact year, so this is it in terms of the future for me. Looking down the road, you always want to have some sense of security for your family. That’ll play a part in it.”
It has been a busy and life-changing few days for Monroe, who is eager to get started with his new team.
“It was, but I’m here, and there’s no more time for that,” he said. “It’s just time to get to work, so I’ll just be totally focused on learning as quick as I can and getting ready to play.”
NOTES: Defensive tackle Marcus Spears did not practice Thursday because of a knee injury.
He was the only change on the second injury report of the week. Wideouts Jacoby Jones (knee) and Brandon Stokley (thigh) practiced in a limited capacity again while receivers Marlon Brown (thigh) and Deonte Thompson (concussion) sat out.
Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), center Ryan Jensen (foot), linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (thigh) also did not participate.