Super Bowl Cowboy: Q&A With Billy Bajema

The Baltimore Ravens will try to complete a miraculous run to the NFL championship on Feb. 3 when they face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Former Oklahoma State Cowboys Billy Bajema and Ryan McBean (injured reserve) are members of the Ravens, and ex-Cowboys Perrish Cox and Kendall Hunter (injured reserve) are with the 49ers.

In August, Bajema wasn't sure what would happen after spending the previous seven years in the NFL. The new coaching staff of the St. Louis Rams had decided not to resign him.

He received several calls from other teams before deciding to return the Ravens. It has worked out well as Bajema, who has 38 career receptions and two touchdowns.

Although he has not caught a pass this season, the former OSU Cowboy has played as a blocking tight end in short-yardage and strike-zone situations, and he has also played some special teams.

Bajema, who was a popular Cowboys tight end, is very happy about getting the chance to play in a Super Bowl.

This really did work out well for you, didn't it?
Bajema: It is a dream come true. It's the stuff you dream about when you are a little kid playing in the back yard. To actually be there after my first seven years, never being on a team that was anywhere close, and coming out here, kind of last minute in training camp, it has been an exciting ride, and to cap it off in New Orleans is going to be awesome.

The Ravens were a great choice because they had such a good shot at possibly getting to the Super Bowl.
Bajema: That was one of the things when I first heard from the Ravens that made a difference. I thought I could go to the Super Bowl with this team. It was exciting and I enjoyed my time with the Rams and being close to home. The nature of the NFL is when we have a year like we had last season then they are going to turn over almost the whole team.

Being here in Baltimore, this is really a special group of guys and coaches. The run we've had in the playoff ... going to Denver and then to New England, where they beat us last year in the playoffs in the AFC Championship, and now getting to go to New Orleans and play against another of my former teams in San Francisco, it has been a great run.

You started out in the NFL with the 49ers. I don't know how many of the players you played with who are still there but how cool is that to play against at least some guys you know?
Bajema: It's funny because if you look at the Rams roster this year compared to last year I hardly know anybody. But with the 49ers, the core guys that are the starters on offense and defense are guys I played with. The bottom half of the roster has changed quite a bit, but the starters, many of them, I know.

My wife knows their wives and we're friends. It is cool and I will get to see those guys and I'm still friends with a lot of them. It is a special feeling to go against one of your old teams. A lot of guys making plays for them are guys that I started out with.

This Ravens group is interesting with Ray Lewis and his emotional leadership, and the emergence of Joe Flacco at quarterback. This is a very interesting group to be a part of, isn't it?
Bajema: Everything came together during the season. We had injuries but then we had guys coming back at the right time, like Ray (Lewis) coming back.

Usually, I don't always think the motivational speeches and playing for somebody holds a lot of weight. But in this instance, there is nobody like him as far as his leadership and what he says to the team to get them ready. There is a passion behind it and it is real. Having a leader like that is big and I do think we rally behind it.

The whole season and the way it has come together is so special. It is a group of players that are humble and passionate and just ready to go after it. Nobody gave us a chance in those games and we just went in there and went out and got the job done, and now we're really looking forward to going to New Orleans.

We'll have more from Bajema over the next several days.

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