Safety Eric Weddle spent the first nine years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and always admired the heated contests between the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Now that Weddle is a safety for the Ravens, he got to partake in his first game in the rivalry and joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday to talk about how his team’s 21-14 win lived up to the hype.
“It was electric. The emotions, the energy, the passion, the fans were incredible,” Weddle said about the Ravens-Steelers rivalry game on Sunday. “It’s just a tough, physical, grind it out, old-school type football game, you know. Shoot, it’s the games you relish and want to be in, and being in San Diego, those are the games you always watched and looked forward to each season and how the Ravens and Steelers game were going to come about, and it was great to be a part of and great to get a win.”
Heading into the game, the Ravens had lost their last four games. Weddle didn’t say it was a must win, but knew there was a sense of urgency in their locker room to get back to .500. “We knew a loss would put us in a deep, deep hole with eight games to go, that we wouldn’t want to be in, and we clutched up and got a victory, a much needed victory, and [the win] gives us some confidence heading into the last stretch of the season.”
The Ravens now have a quick turnaround as they play the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football this week. Despite the quick turnaround, Weddle still couldn’t help but keep laughing about Steelers kicker Chris Boswell’s attempted onside kick in the final minute of yesterday’s game.
“I instantly thought we won. I know the rules. I know it’s definitely a penalty. Obviously, we could have gone, run up and pick it up and go try and score, but I knew once he’d re-touched it, it’s a penalty, and obviously, he kicked it out of frustration,” Weddle laughed. “I just thought, what a horrible play. Terrible execution with the game on the line. And then everyone still continued to run after the ball. I’m like, guys, the game’s over, it’s a penalty, we don’t need to do anything.
“So it was definitely a classic kicker moment, these kickers always tend to reinvent the wheel. Just kick it and see what happens.”
Weddle also talked about tomorrow’s vote in San Diego, a ballot initiative asking the public to approve an increase in the hotel occupancy tax that would provide more money for a proposed downtown football stadium. The Pro Bowl safety talked about what it would be like if, for some reason, the Chargers left San Diego.
“It would be tragic to not have the Chargers there,” Weddle said. “You just hope everything can go well with the stadium proposal and the votes and what not, but you just never know. The city’s been through a lot over the last couple years with the owner and the team, you know saying to move, and then trying to do the things to move to LA, you just never know. So you just hope for the best. As a player, you’d hope that San Diego has a team. They’ve been there for so many years for a reason, and it would be a travesty to not have them there, but it’s really out of my control. You hope for the fans they get it, but I’m a Raven, and that’s all I’m focused on.”