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Johnson honored by Tri-State Ravens Nest No. 12

June 08, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

Baltimore Ravens defensive end Jarret Johnson earned Player of the Year honors from the Tri-State Ravens Nest No. 12 on Saturday night at the Four Points Sheraton.

He was just happy to be in good company.

"Kelly Gregg got it last year, so to get it after him is a great honor," Johnson said.

Johnson is the ninth recipient of the award and joins such Ravens notables as Rob Burnett (1999), Adalius Thomas (2002) and Bart Scott (2005). He accompanied Gregg, a fellow defensive lineman, last year when he accepted the award.

Johnson talked with four local athletes -- Hannah Crosby, Matt Copenhaver, Danny Mauk and Tony Yates -- who were awarded scholarships for excellence in the classroom and in athletics.

"It's pretty nice," Johnson said. "It kind of feels like a couple years ago I was there."

Johnson, who enters his sixth season with the Ravens, identified a simple goal for himself for the 2008 season.

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"Just get a little better than last year," he said. "I want to stay grounded."

Johnson will do so under new coaching as John Harbaugh takes over for Brian Billick after a 5-11 season in 2007.

"It's a tough transition because Billick has been here for nine years and I've been here for five of them," Johnson said. "Luckily for the defense it's not that big of an adjustment."

Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Rex Ryan remained with the team and there appears to be little turnover on the Ravens' defense. Of their 10 draft picks, seven addressed offensive needs.

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