The Morning Show
Mort notices that Ray Lewis has never once been voted Defensive Player of the Week this season.
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Dan Patrick Show
Mort looks at the Ray Lewis storyline that will be linked to Super Bowl XXXV.
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Mort reports
Mort says this will be a Super Bowl of redemption.
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Patrick: Ray Lewis back in court

Lewis won't be off limits to media

There's no escaping the truth. The NFL would rather not have to deal with the Ray Lewis story during the next two weeks. A few league officials even bemoaned the prospect back in late November.

Ray Lewis
Ravens LB Ray Lewis forces Raiders QB Rich Gannon to fumble in the AFC title game.

Lewis, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year as voted by 50 writers and broadcasters, was never once selected the AFC Defensive Player of the Week during the 2000 season.

"That's nothing more than a coincidence," said Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations. "You know, those awards usually go to guys who have spectacular games ... two interceptions, three sacks, that sort of stuff. I can't recollect if Lewis had that type of game. But his not getting an award had nothing to do with what happened with [the murder trial]. He was absolved, he pleaded to a misdemeanor and the commissioner acted. Those are separate issues."

Lewis was charged in the stabbing deaths of two men after a brawl following last year's Super Bowl in Atlanta. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice in exchange for his testimony against two co-defendants, who were acquitted.

The league will take no special measure to limit Lewis' media access during Super Bowl week.

"He is what he is," said Aiello. "We're fine with it. He's been in the limelight during the season, a lot during the playoffs. He's a great player, and in a way you can talk about the positive aspect of how he's turned it around."

The Ravens also have discussed Lewis' media exposure next week. Some of it is slightly overrated. The media access to players is controlled. The players have three basic days of exposure -- Tuesday (media day), Wednesday and Thursday in one-hour blocks. Then there is a virtual media blackout with players until after the game Sunday night.

Ravens coach Brian Billick pointed out Monday that he believed his players wouldn't cooperate with inquiries about Lewis' brush with the law after last year's Super Bowl in Atlanta.

"We've moved on," said Billick, while still paying respects to the families of two murdered men.

Billick and team vice president Kevin Byrne have discussed their media strategy for Lewis. It is likely they will simply gauge the crush at media day, and then audibilize, if necessary. One thing is sure -- somebody in the media will push a button.

"Ray has handled the media just fine," said Byrne. "He's dealing with it." HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP

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