Josh Bynes retires as Raven, remembers historic tackle

Josh Bynes, who retired as a part of the Ravens’ organization on Friday, reminisced about the most important tackle in his 12-year career.

The moment happened in Super Bowl XLVII when the Ravens were clinging to a 34-31 lead over the San 49ers and had to give the ball back to San Francisco after taking a safety to take more time off the clock.

The Ravens just needed a stop and they would be champions.

Enter Bynes.

“We all were just like, ‘Look, we’re going to make sure we keep this ball all [the way] in front of us.’ I think we all … I don’t even know if we were all like sprinting on that because we just wanted to make sure we [were] going to get him down no matter what,” Bynes said. “And I think – if I’m not mistaken – I remember, I went inside a little bit, then I came back outside, and he was just right there.

“My guy Jimmy Smith missed the tackle, right? I appreciate you, Jimmy, for missing the tackle. And then I ended up being right there to [be able to] make that tackle. So, it’s just … It [was a] surreal, crazy moment. And we need another [Super Bowl win]. That’s for sure.” 

Another remarkable part of that season is that Bynes broke his back in training camp that year on the second day of pads. He didn’t know if it was the end of his season or the end of his career.

It was not the end of his journey.

“I ended up coming back and playing games, and [I] ended up starting games – we had a lot of guys hurt – and [getting] opportunities,” Bynes said. “And I think, just, about those opportunities I’ve had; I’ve always made success of them. It never mattered … Whenever they came … I didn’t know when they were going to come, but when those opportunities did come, I was like, ‘I’m going to be ready.’ And when my name was called, I was always ready to go, knowing that I was able to handle it.

“And obviously, that year, what better way to seal [it]? [I went] from that start of the year to uncertainty, to winning the Super Bowl and making the last tackle [in that game]. So, I think it’s crazy.” 

Bynes spent six overall seasons with the Ravens in 2011-2013, 2019, and 2021-2022. He also played for the Detroit Lions (2014–2016), Arizona Cardinals (2017–2018), Cincinnati Bengals (2020) and Carolina Panthers (2021).

He played in 138 games, finishing with 582 tackles, 8.5 sacks and five interceptions.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh called Bynes a Hall of Fame player and person.

“Past the football stuff, which you have to do, you have to produce, but [it was in] the locker room, the mentorship, the example that he sets for the guys by the type of a family man he is and the father and husband that he is,” Harbaugh said. “I think guys look at that, and it makes a difference. I know he’s been there for guys just to talk to them and make a difference in their lives. That’s what a Hall of Famer is to me. He’s that kind of a player that deserves that kind of recognition in terms of being … All the accolades that he’s accomplished as a football player, but a Hall of Famer in life and relationships.

“That’s the beauty of football to me is someone like that.”

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