Eric Weddle sat in front of Baltimore-area reporters on Wednesday ready for a fresh start. His face said it all -- both in his optimistic glow and the three-year-old mountain beard now trimmed to a neat George Michael stubble.
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Weddle explained how he envied the Ravens' success during his nine years in San Diego and woke up at night convinced Baltimore should be his new home.
"This is football," Weddle said. "You think of Baltimore, you think of football. You don't think of anything else."
Weddle did not shy away from discussing his ugly breakup with the Chargers. Weddle called San Diego's decision to part ways a "blessing in disguise" and added, "Basically, I wasn't wanted there."
"It was hard to deal with, to wake up every day, going to work at 4:30 in the morning knowing that the organization doesn't want you after this year," Weddle said of his final season in San Diego. "It was hard to deal with. You play through injuries, you play through all that stuff, and the only thing that got me through that season was my teammates.
"But it made me stronger, it made me humble, and I think all those tough times brought me to this moment right now to be a part of this amazing organization."
Weddle clearly has a Point Loma-sized chip on his shoulder, which he'll be sure to use as motivation as he begins the next phase of his career. The parallels between Weddle and Steve Smith are undeniable, and don't be surprised if the Ravens are again the benefactor of outside motivation for a proud veteran.