Michael McCrary

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Michael McCrary
No. 99
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1970-07-07) July 7, 1970 (age 44)
Place of birth: Vienna, Virginia
Career information
College: Wake Forest
NFL Draft: 1993 / Round: 7 / Pick: 170
Debuted in 1993 for the Seattle Seahawks
Last played in 2002 for the Baltimore Ravens
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 413
Sacks 71
Interceptions 1
Stats at NFL.com

Michael Curtis McCrary (born July 7, 1970) is a former American Football defensive end who played for the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens for ten seasons in the NFL between 1993 and 2002. McCrary was a two time Pro Bowler in 1998 and 1999. McCrary was inducted to the Ravens' Ring of Honor in 2004. McCrary is now doing commentary for the Ravens on WBAL-AM and created Mac's Miracle Fund; a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting programs and creating unique initiatives that foster self-esteem, build character, and promote academic and athletic excellence in children in need.

Early years[edit]

McCrary often cited his parents as the reason he took the path he did. When McCrary was a young boy his mother wanted to place him in a day care which was located across the street from his home. However, it wasn't racially integrated and she sued the day care to allow Michael's admittance. The case Runyon v. McCrary was heard before the United States Supreme Court and resulted in his admission. As a teen he stated “I hated lifting. I absolutely couldn’t stand it, but my father drove me and pushed me. After a while I saw development on my arms and legs, and after about a year I could lift all the weights he had. I was kind of in shock, because I could see formation. It was starting to make sense as to why I was doing this.” There were many times in that first year at George C. Marshall High School that Michael wanted to quit, but his parents had always taught him to finish what he started. He begrudgingly lasted through that difficult introduction to a sport that would eventually bring him his fame and fortune. In his senior year of high school football McCrary was being recruited by several top football programs and anticipated he would have a breakout senior season. Instead, in only the second game of the season, Michael McCrary broke his arm in two places after chasing down a ball carrier. The diagnosis - a compound fracture. His goal was to receive a scholarship to play college football from a major program. Because of the injury, McCrary sat out his entire senior year. The only schools that were still interested were James Madison and Towson State, two division I-AA schools, and Wake Forest. McCrary would later admit that “Even with Wake Forest, I wasn’t one of their top recruits. They told me that the only reason I got in was because a couple other guys ahead of me turned them down, so the scholarship slid to me. But I didn’t care; I had my scholarship and my car, and I knew the rest would take care of itself if I just kept working.”

College career[edit]

McCrary played college football in Wake Forest University from 1989 - 1992. Wake Forest has been recording the sack statistic since 1969. McCrary graduated out of Wake Forest in 1992 breaking both the team 's record of sacks in a season (16) and sacks in a career (30) and still holds those records to this day. When being scouted by NFL scouts they found his vertical leap was measured at 36 inches; and at 250 pounds, he came in at 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard sprint.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Michael McCrary was drafted in the 7th round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1993 NFL Draft. 7th round picks rarely make the team and McCrary would later state he was often teased for doing so by his teammates. Undersized at that time for being a defensive end, he stamped his legacy with aggression and speed. McCrary would spend the 1993 season with the Seahawks where recorded 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles with scarce playing time. In 1994, his playing time grew but not by much. McCrary also declined in production with 1.5 sacks and 12 tackles. He would then face a major injury in 1995 which left him out for 5 games. Because of roster movements, McCrary would start his first NFL season in 1996 and the virtually unknown McCrary made that opportunity count. He finished his first starting season with 77 total tackles, 3 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble and 13.5 sacks and 1 FG Block (which turned a probable Houston Oilers last second victory into a Seahawks win as he lateraled the ball to Robert Blackmon who returned the block for a last second Seahawks Touchdown).

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

The Free Agency period began and McCrary's rookie contract expired. He and his agent did the “Round the World” NFL tour - Houston Oilers, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles - and nobody was biting on any of the offers. His agent decided to make a call to the Baltimore Ravens and found that they were very receptive to the idea of talking with Michael. Current Cincinnati Bengals head coach and then Baltimore defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis was building a defense that would eventually be the best statistical defense in the history of the NFL. McCrary would flourish in the Raven defense where his blue-collar tenacity and eternal high-caliber aggression was cherished.

  • In 1997, McCrary's first season in Baltimore, he recorded 69 tackles, 2 pass deflections and 9.5 sacks.
  • In 1998, he recorded a 14.5 sack season, his career high. He also had 68 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 2 pass deflections.
  • In 1999, under new head coach Brian Billick, McCrary finished the season with 59 tackles, 2 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble and 11.5 sacks.
  • In Super Bowl championship 2000 season (Super Bowl XXXV), McCrary recorded 44 Tackles, 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 3 pass deflections. He had a single sack in the Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants after crawling to New York QB Kerry Collins.
  • In 2001 McCrary played in only 10 games due to injury, recording 7.5 sacks, 51 tackles, 1 pass deflection and 1 interception which.
  • In 2002, in just 5 games in, McCrary recorded 2 sacks, 5 tackles and defended 1 pass.

McCrary finished his season as one of three Baltimore Ravens (Peter Boulware and Rob Burnett) with over 70 career sacks. Due to his knee injuries, McCraray officially retired prior to the 2003 NFL season. Brian Billick on Michael McCrary: "Reading Michael’s book reminded me of the absolutely fearless, pure warrior that I was lucky enough to have on our team and, fortunately, only had to coach against once. No player in Ravens history surpassed the effort Mike gave on every single play. He was as tough as any Raven. Mike served as an example to his teammates in terms of preparation, including in-season and off-season conditioning and strengthening. Mike McCrary was a player that, as a coach, you knew you didn’t have to concern yourself with. By that I mean Mike was going to give you his best, and was going to make a play that impacted the game, every time he set foot on the field." ~ Brian Billick

Retirement[edit]

On August 21, 2003, at the Ravens facility in Owings Mills, Maryland Michael McCrary announced his retirement. In attendance were Michael’s mother and father, his wife Mary, and his daughter Kohanna. Representing the Ravens were majority owner Art Modell, Coach Billick, General Manager Ozzie Newsome, and about twenty players who asked special permission to attend.

Sportscaster Keith Mills said, “I have never seen anything like this. I have covered a hundred of these, including Cal Ripken’s, and I have never seen so much love and emotion for a retiring player.”

After football[edit]

In 2007 Michael McCrary filed a $60-million-dollar civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, concerning a hurricane-derailed New Orleans real estate venture at the New Orleans landmark (Crescent City Towers) Plaza Tower site. The trial court defaulted all parties McCrary named in the litigation. New Orleans author and French Quarter Bourbon Street resident TJ Fisher was among the multiple individuals and entities defaulted for $33.3 million. In May 2009 the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the judgment.[1] On May 2 of 2007, The Sun (Baltimore) daily newspaper ran a profile on Michael McCrary's "wrecked knees".

McCrary was present during the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV reunion in 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kearney, Brendan. "Retired Raven Michael McCrary loses $33M award in Md. Court of Special Appeals." Baltimore Daily Record. June 9, 2009; Kearney, Brendan. "Maryland Court of Special Appeals finds ex-Raven can't collect while award is on appeal." Baltimore Daily Record. May 11, 2009; Kearney, Brendan. "Former Baltimore Raven Michael McCrary win is on appeal." Baltimore Daily Record. March 9, 2009; Kearney, Brendan. Baltimore Daily Record, archived articles, 2007-2009.