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Monday, January 16, 2012
Ravens' Ray Lewis isn't thinking retirement

By Jamison Hensley

Did Ray Lewis play his final home game at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday?

When Lewis was asked that exact question by ESPN's Sal Paolantonio after the game, the 16-year middle linebacker smiled.

Lewis
Lewis
"Football is too fun for me, man," Lewis said. "I love it too much to ever even put that thought in my head and disrespect not just me and my craft, but disrespect my team. I just never thought of it. Whenever God says time is enough, then it's enough. But when you're having the fun that I'm having, and you're playing at the level I'm playing at, do it until you can't do it no more."

Lewis had his best game since returning from a toe injury. In Sunday's divisional playoff game against Houston, he recorded a team-best eight tackles, including one for a loss, and nearly picked off a pass.

The Ravens, who play at New England in the AFC Championship Game, finished perfect at home this season after a 20-13 win over the Texans. There has been speculation that Lewis would retire if the Ravens won the Super Bowl this season.

Meanwhile, Baltimore center Matt Birk disputed a CBS report by former NFL general manager Charley Casserly that he has made up his mind to retire at the end of the season. Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl center, is in the final year of his contract with the Ravens after playing for them for three seasons.

"No, I haven't made that decision yet, and I don't know Charley Casserly," said Birk, who turns 36 before the start of next season. "I don't even know who he is. I don't know him, he didn't talk to me and that's all I can say."