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Sunday, May 9, 2021

On a team full of young players, Zach Brown has been the star since the start of the season

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When Zach Brown ended the NFL season on Injured Reserve in January, it sent the Ravens to rookie Nick Ferguson, another third-round draft pick. Yet the Ravens stuck with Brown, choosing to gamble that he’d recover from a year-ending knee injury, and keep it going.

As a result, a guy who was basically an undrafted free agent is now a key member of Baltimore’s defense this year.

No wonder he was confident and willing to handle a reporter recently — he had recently been in Taiwan, where all he had wanted to do was fulfill a preseason promise to go roller skating, and even presented football equipment to a local middle school in accordance with the team’s tradition of visiting children’s hospitals before games. But that was then, and this is now. Here he is, politely but firm, declining to answer a question on whether or not a possible third straight trip to the Super Bowl and fourth title in eight years is attainable.

“It doesn’t make any difference,” he said. “It’s an article in the paper when you win the Super Bowl.”

Is he relieved, knowing he didn’t take a crack at the game against the 49ers when he had a chance?

“I’m just going to prepare like it was a regular week,” he said. “I’m glad that I’m out there practicing with my teammates. Just want to get better every day.”

Of course, he has no reason to be sorry. As well as the Ravens got with Brown’s addition to their defensive-line rotation, he has become the franchise player Baltimore may have needed after just one game, and seemed to have in 2018. They’re at New England this Sunday in Week 6.

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