||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (March 2012)|
|Date of birth:||July 7, 1970|
|Place of birth:||Vienna, Virginia|
|NFL draft:||1993 / Round: 7 / Pick: 170|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|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.
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. (One of the justices who dissented was former football star Byron "Whizzer" White, which became rather ironic a quarter-century later, in 2000, when McCrary was given the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award for that season.)
As a teen, McCrary "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 by his senior year, 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. Because of the injury, McCrary sat out his entire senior year; after that, the only schools still interested were James Madison and Towson State (both 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.”
McCrary played college football at Wake Forest University from 1989–92, setting school records for sacks in a season (16) and in a career (30), records he still holds.
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.
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).
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 McCrary's First Season With the Ravens, He recorded 69 tackles, 2 pass deflections and 9.5 Sacks.
The 1998 Season was a bounce back year for McCrary, recording A Career High 14.5 Sacks, 68 Tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass deflections. He was named First-Team All-Pro By The Sporting News And Pro Football Writers Association, He Was also Selected to Play In the Pro Bowl For The First Time In his Career.
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. He Was Selected To His Second Pro Bowl.
McCrary played in only 10 games due to injury, recording 7.5 Sacks, 51 Tackles, 1 pass deflection and 1 interception.
In 2002, in just 5 Games In, McCrary had 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
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.”
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 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. On May 2 of 2007, The Sun (Baltimore) daily newspaper ran a profile on Michael McCrary's "wrecked knees".
- 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.