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Ravens sign LB Polley to one-year deal

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (April 11, 2005) -- Free-agent linebacker Tommy Polley signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, who expect the four-year veteran to play next to Ray Lewis in the team's new 4-3 alignment.

Polley comes to the Ravens from the St. Louis Rams, where he averaged 72½ tackles a season. He joined the Rams in 2001 after starting three years at Florida State.

"It's good to be home," said Polley, who played high school football in Baltimore. "It's great for me and my family, but I'm here to do a job, and that's to get this team back to the Super Bowl."

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Polley had 78 tackles in 15 games last year. He fills the void left by the departure of Ed Hartwell, who signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons.

"We need another linebacker to team up with Ray," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Tommy is a very athletic player that can run from sideline to sideline. He also has the ability to cover backs and tight ends down the field."

First-year defensive coordinator Rex Ryan this season will switch to a 4-3 alignment from the 3-4 set the team has used for the past several years. If Polley does his part, Lewis will be free to roam the middle.

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