Ravens staple at middle linebacker for 17 seasons, Ray Lewis, has announced that he plans on retiring at the end of this season. According to ESPN’s Senior Writer John Clayton, he told the team, “this is my last ride.”
That being the case, hopefully we get four more games out of Ray Lewis.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the final charter member of the Baltimore Ravens plans to hang it up after this year. But the timing comes as a bit of a surprise. With the playoff match up with Indy just days away, the latest report is that there is no guarantee he’ll be able to play on Sunday. Coach Harbaugh has said Lewis will be a game time decision.
But if you’re a betting man, bet on him being out there. Bet on M&T Bank registering on the Richter scale when he comes out of the tunnel for the home crowd, likely for the last time.
Some noteable accolades of his include:13 time pro-bowler 2 time NFL defensive player of the year 10 time all-pro middle linebacker NFL All-decade team, 2000′s Fastest to reach 20 sacks/20 INT Fastest to reach 30 sacks/30 INT Only player with 40+ sacks/30+ INT Super Bowl XXXV MVP
This is a time when people start telling their favorite stories about their favorite players. On a personal note, back in 2001, I got Ray Lewis’ autograph at training camp in Westminster. I remember standing there, face to face with the man for five or ten seconds, just being in awe of the size of this man. Arms, legs, neck, broad shoulders, hands, the whole thing. I was in such awe that I didn’t even utter a word. I would have loved to have said, “Thanks,” or, “You’re the man Ray.” But I couldn’t. My brain couldn’t function. I was in a trance because, “Oh my god. It’s Ray Lewis!” I guess now is as good a time as ever to say to Mr. Lewis, “Thanks Ray. For everything. You are the man.”
Some questions going forward.
1. If the Ravens fail to win the Super Bowl, are you buying this as the end for Ray Lewis? We’ve seen guys play the flip flop game, Derrick Mason was one here in Baltimore who changed his mind. Any chance when camp approaches in 2013 he gets that itch and comes back?
2. Are you okay with McClain returning next year and Ellerbe manning the middle?
3. Where should the focus be in the first round of the draft? O-line to help Flacco and Rice’s production? Or trying to find a possible long-term answer at MLB in the draft to replace Lewis, and to help anchor the defense for years to come?
4. What about a change back to the 4-3 defense next year? Would that benefit the Ravens, who use the 3-4 with two MLB because Ray can’t cover the ground he used to?
5. What is your favorite Ray Lewis moment, or moments? There are a lot to chose from.