Friday, September 20, 2013
Ravens playfully jab Ray Lewis
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ed Reed isn't the only former Baltimore Ravens defensive star returning for Sunday's game with the Houston Texans. Ray Lewis will become the 16th member inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor.
But, before he gets toasted, some of his former teammates decided to poke fun at their former leader, who retired seven months ago.
When told Lewis was going into the Ring of Honor, quarterback Joe Flacco said with a smile, "Well, that was quick."
Flacco continued with his jab of Lewis, saying, "Ray is already corporate, man. He’s already giving the company line about whatever they want him to say. He’s probably off the Raven bandwagon already -- whatever. He’ll be on it this week, of course."
Flacco did acknowledge that it's always good to see Lewis. "Come on, he defines this city. It’ll be pretty cool to have him back.”
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has a message for Lewis on Sunday.
"I’ll just make sure when I see him, [I’ll tell him] don’t talk trash about our team when he’s talking about us," Ngata said. "We text each other often. It’s been like he’s gone, but not far away.”
Lewis told reporters this week that he doesn't have any plans to deliver a fiery speech to the players. Ravens coach John Harbaugh sounded like he would be open to it, but wouldn't approach Lewis about giving one.
“If it happened and it felt right, it would be great," Harbaugh said. "And if it didn’t happen because it didn’t make sense, that’d be fine, too. Those are the kinds of things best left to providence.”
Linebacker Terrell Suggs has taken on the role as the vocal leader of the Ravens and speaks to the players in the team huddle after warm-ups, just like Lewis used to do.
Asked if he would encourage Lewis to speak, Suggs said, “I think we’ll leave that up to Ray [Lewis], but I think he should just enjoy his moment. It’s his day. He’s going in [to the Ring of Honor], and if he feels he needs to say something to the team, he can say something. If anybody has the right of way, it’s him. If he just wants to enjoy it, take it in and be a fan of football, that’s fine, too.”