Ventrone in the 2012 NFL season.
No. 23 San Francisco 49ers
|Safety / Special teamer|
|Date of birth:October 21, 1982|
|Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|High school: Bridgeville (PA) Chartiers Valley|
|Undrafted in 2005|
|Debuted in 2006 for the Cologne Centurions|
|Roster status: Injured Reserve|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2014
Raymond Ventrone (//; born October 21, 1982) is an American football safety for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Villanova.
Ventrone received the nickname "Bubba" from his father as a child. As a seventh grader, Ventrone and two of his friends founded the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which supports research into pancreatic cancer at the University of Pittsburgh.
Ventrone attended Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania where he played football and holds records in track and field. He was a three-time All-Conference player and a Second-team All-State as a senior.
Ventrone began his college career at Villanova University in 2001. As a junior in 2003, Ventrone was selected to the All-Atlantic 10 Conference first team. He finished his college career with 251 tackles, two sacks, and five forced fumbles. At Villanova, he was the hard-hitting safety who was often barred from making contact during practices to avoid injuring his teammates.
First stint with Patriots
Although the Patriots considered picking Ventrone with the final pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, they signed tight end Andy Stokes as "Mr. Irrelevant"; Ventrone then signed as an undrafted free agent. Ventrone was released at the end of training camp and re-signed to the practice squad. After spending the rest of the 2005 season on the practice squad, he was allocated to NFL Europa in the spring of 2006. There, Ventrone suffered an injury and was placed on the team's NFL Europe/Non-Football Injury list, sidelining him for the 2006 season.
New York Jets
After the Patriots released Ventrone on February 13, 2007, he signed with the New York Jets on February 21; then-Jets head coach Eric Mangini had been Ventrone's defensive coordinator with the Patriots in 2005. After the Jets released Ventrone in their final cutdown before the 2007 season, they signed him to their practice squad, but released him on September 12.
Second stint with Patriots
The Patriots signed Ventrone to their practice squad on September 18, 2007 and then promoted to the team's 53-man roster on November 3. Upon the activation of Eddie Jackson and Chad Jackson from the PUP list, the Patriots released Ventrone on November 7, 2007, and re-signed him to their practice squad two days later. He was again promoted to the active roster in December, and remained on the active roster for the balance of the season, including Super Bowl XLII, in which he recorded his first NFL tackle.
During the 2008 offseason, Ventrone began practicing as a wide receiver, a position he had not played in games since he was a sophomore at Chartiers Valley High School; he had, however, previously lined up at wide receiver on scout teams in Patriots practices. In the Patriots' third 2008 preseason game, Ventrone led all receivers with four receptions, while still playing on special teams and defense. Ventrone would go on to play in 15 games during the 2008 season, almost exclusively on special teams, recording six special teams tackles.
During a July 31, 2009, press conference, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke of Ventrone:
|“||Ray is fast and he's tough. No one works harder than Ray. He's a smart football player. He puts his heart and soul into it every time he steps onto the field. It doesn't matter if it's regular season or postseason game or a walkthrough practice. He has that same intensity and same level of competitiveness on every single play. You've got to love that about Ray. He's a tough kid. He's got good speed. He's got good quickness. He's strong for his size. He's not a real tall guy, but he's well put together. He's got good power and he plays very aggressively. That stuff will carry a long way.||”|
Despite those comments, however, the Patriots released Ventrone during their final cutdowns on September 5, 2009.
Ventrone signed with the Cleveland Browns on September 16, 2009. He was re-signed to a three year, $2.2 million deal on March 6, 2010. Ventrone was selected as a Pro Bowl Alternate as a Special Teamer in 2010 where he led the #1 ranked special teams unit in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers
Ventrone signed with the San Francisco 49ers on June 3, 2013. He led an elite special teams unit to the NFC Championship game. And was voted "Blue Collar Special Teams Player of the Year" by his teammates and coaches.
- Ventrone, Raymond (2006-03-23). "NFL Europe Diary Week 2". Patriots.com. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Scalavino, Erik (2008-07-23). "Ventrone's hoops give hope to cancer patients". Patriots.com. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Flynn, Douglas (2008-05-29). "Patriots beat: Versatility the key for Ventrone". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Reiss, Mike (2008-08-23). "After further review". Boston.com Reiss' Pieces. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Bill Belichick Press Conference". New England Patriots. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-08-04.