"He can rush
the passer, he can cover slot receivers and tight ends, he can play deep safety
all by himself," says Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. "And
he's mean as hell."
Scott is also
colorfully--and sometimes controversially--cacophonous. On a fourth-and-one
against Pittsburgh in '05, he drew an imaginary line on the ground and screamed
at Bettis to cross it. In the same game he called Steelers Pro Bowl wideout
Hines Ward both "soy sauce" and "rice rocket" in reference to
Ward's Korean ancestry. Neither Bettis nor Ward admits to remembering the
incidents. Says Ward of Scott, "He's talking all the time, but no one's
paying attention. At the same time, he's a great talent and getting better and
linebacker Joey Porter, a legendary trash talker himself, recalls spinning
Scott around during a change of possession, mocking him by reading the name on
the back of his jersey. "He was like a first-year starter, and I told him,
'I don't argue with nonstarters,' " says Porter, who's now with the
Dolphins. Scott responded by making nine tackles, and after every one he
shouted to Porter on the sideline, "That's one. That's two. . . ."
It's an approach
some teammates don't fully embrace. "He's too emotional most of the
time," says Lewis. "I try to get him to control himself."
But others love
it. "He's a fire, and I pour gasoline on him out there," says veteran
cornerback Chris McAlister. "It's Bart being Bart, and I want him that
In truth it is an
act, reserved for the field only. When the Super Bowl came to Scott's hometown
in 2006, he arranged for students from six inner-city middle schools to gather
at Southeastern; Scott spoke to them wearing a suit and tie. "Never mind
that football," Davis, his former coach, told him that day. "Now you
look like a man."
Last summer Scott
sent plane tickets to Kill's office at Southern Illinois and arranged for his
former coach to use Scott's South Beach condo. "Bart knew I never take
vacations, so he made all the arrangements for me and my wife," says Kill.
"Honestly, it's the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me."
season begins. With do-everything outside linebacker Adalius Thomas gone to the
Patriots, Scott will be expected to deliver even more. Veterans such as Lewis
and McNair are quickly aging, putting pressure on the Ravens to make another
run now. None of it scares Scott. House money. He spreads his arms wide like a
preacher before his congregation and speaks through a broad smile, "I've