There's a whiff of the past in the
Then as now, the Ravens rallied around linebacker
Today, said Herring, the Ravens are playing inspired football because of Lewis' pending retirement.
"I knew, when Ray made that proclamation [before the playoffs], that they would rally around him," Herring said. "You can't explain the effect he has on you, as an athlete. The things he told us in a speech before the Super Bowl were like they came from a movie. I thought, 'Man, I oughta write this stuff down.'
"The way Ray talks makes you want to run through a brick wall for this dude, even if you don't know why."
Herring, the Ravens' second-round draft pick in 1997, played four years in Baltimore and made the last one his best. He had 66 tackles and three interceptions in 2000, including a pick in the Super Bowl victory over the
"Coming from Penn State, I didn't miss many tackles," he said. "In college, if you had a bad game, [coach]
On the heels of the Ravens' championship, Herring — a free agent — signed with St. Louis and returned to the Super Bowl in 2001, where the
"Give it to the Ravens, 27-24," he said of the
Herring retired in 2005. The father of three, he lives in Orlando, Fla. where he runs an investment firm and, with his wife, Marissa, a fitness center for adults and high school athletes. In six years, "Garage Mama Fitness" has grown, literally, from a corner of the Herrings' three-car garage to a 7,000-square foot facility in nearby Winter Garden.
At 37, he's still a trim 195 pounds. Last week, Herring joined a men's soccer league where guys his age play three-on-three on a full-sized field. One of his teammates is
"We run around, willy nilly, for two 20-minute halves," said Herring, whose team won its opener, 7-4.
He is also a youth leader at his church, Orlando World Outreach, whose pastor, Tim Johnson, is a former
"I really enjoy what I'm doing," he said of both the church work and fitness training of youngsters. "I feel like I'm helping them find an easier way to do things. Month by month, I see kids getting better physically, mentally and spiritually. And they're appreciative."
Herring said he would watch the Ravens play Sunday night, save for another commitment.
"My youth group is having a sleep-in at the church, and I have to be there," he said. "But there will be a lot of boys there, so I might be able to get a couple of televisions brought in — for the kids, of course.
"Yeah, I might be able to finagle that one out."