Tyree humbled by fall from Super Bowl greatness
Less than two years after David Tyree experienced the euphoria of being a Super Bowl hero, he was forced to endure the anguish of being unemployed. Tyree made one of the most remarkable catches in Super Bowl history in February 2008. The New York Giants trailed New England late in the fourth quarter when Tyree pinned a pass from Eli Manning to his helmet while being tackled. The 32-yard gain helped the Giants pull off a 17-14 upset and earned him national acclaim. But he didn't play in 2008 because of a knee injury. The Giants cut him last month after he missed much of the preseason with hamstring and groin problems. A healthy Tyree aced a tryout with Baltimore and signed with the Ravens on Tuesday. But he won't soon forget the pain he felt during his rapid descent from stardom. "It's humbling. If you look at it from the day you come in as a rookie, for a guy like me especially, you're not even thinking about making a Super Bowl catch down the road," Tyree said Wednesday. "To come from that mindset, then to have these accolades and accomplishments and then come back down, it's extremely humbling." Being cut did, however, rekindle his competitive spirit. "It's good for the soul, good for the hunger, good for the appetite," he said. "When I think about the appetite I have right now for football, I think I landed in the right spot." Although he's best known by fans for his Super Bowl grab, Tyree is regarded in football circles as an outstanding special teams player and a decent backup receiver. He has never had more than 19 catches in a single season, and probably won't come close to that number with Baltimore. Tyree will, however, receive an immediate opportunity to enhance Baltimore's kickoff and punt teams. "He's a special teams guy, just a tough, hard-nosed guy," coach John Harbaugh said. "He played for the Giants. We like the way the Giants play, so that fits with us a little bit." The 29-year-old Tyree is fine with sprinting downfield on kicks. "I expect to come out and make my presence felt on special teams. That's always what I've done. I never shied away from that. That is what obviously has afforded me opportunities in the NFL," he said. "I think they have a great solid bunch of guys at the wide receiver position right now, and I'll prepare myself to add to that depth. "I'm thrilled just to be another piece of the puzzle." It sure beats the alternative. Drafted by the Giants in 2003, it had been a long time since Tyree had to audition for work. "It was a completely new experience. Initially, I didn't know what to expect. I haven't run a 40 in six years," he said. "You kind of have to redirect a lot of your efforts, so to speak. The main thing to me was to secure my health." That, he said, won't be an issue in Baltimore. "I'm not concerned at all. I obviously wish those incidents didn't happen, but I've rectified the situation," he said. "At this age, you have to be the steward over your body, and that's what I'm doing."