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Lewis: “Ed (Reed) Can’t Leave Me”
In his 50th appearance at the Pro Bowl (at least that’s how many times Deion Sanders said his friend, “Sugar,” has been selected for the honor), linebacker Ray Lewis publicly expressed how he feels about Ed Reed’s impending 50-50 retirement decision.
And Lewis’ answer didn’t include the typical, “he needs to do what’s best for him” line either. Nope. The vocal defensive leader was clear – he wants Reed by his side, until the end.
“For me personally, Ed can’t leave me … you know that,” Lewis told “Prime” in this NFL Network video.
“We shouldn’t quit. We got to ride this thing out.
“Going through the emotions, the ups and downs of the season, bottom line, you go through all types of crazy emotions, but I think once he settles in, Ed is who he is.”
Reed was not present to share his own feelings about retirement and another year of playing alongside No. 52. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year excused himself from the Pro Bowl because of the many injuries he sustained throughout the 2009 season.
“Ed fought a lot this year – a lot of different injuries,” Lewis explained. “You have to tip your hat to him because he just kept fighting, kept fighting, kept fighting. So the bottom line is, if you can get healthy, get healthy.”
Colts safety Antoine Bethea replaced the injured Reed on the AFC Pro Bowl roster, but Bethea (busy with the Super Bowl) was subsequently replaced by Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell.
(Oh, and by the way… the Pro Bowl in South Florida really marks Lewis’ 10th appearance.)
Zorn to Interview This Week
Aaron Wilson of National Football Post tweeted last night that the Ravens have spoken to Jim Zorn about the vacant quarterback coaching position and an interview with the former Redskins head coach will take place as soon as Thursday or Friday.
Wilson added that Al Saunders is still in the mix, too.
Adam Schefter of ESPN talks about the two potential candidates in line to replace Hue Jackson, who left to become the Raiders’ offensive coordinator.
DeCosta, Ravens Looking for Offensive Playmakers
Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta is currently scouting talent at the Senior Bowl and is looking for an athlete worthy of the Ravens’ No. 25 overall draft pick.
Asked which positions he felt the Ravens could improve upon, DeCosta told the National Football Post that the team is trying to improve the playmakers on offense.
“They come in all different shapes and sizes, receivers, tight ends,” he said. “If there’s a guy there that we think can come in and help us, make some plays, contribute right away, play on special teams, be a good locker room guy, that would definitely be of interest to us.”
Of course, DeCosta qualified his answer by saying that a defensive player would also be taken into consideration if a player was good enough.
DeCosta, who turned down a general manager interview with the Seattle Seahawks recently, said he hoped the 2010 draft class would run deep at the wide receiver position.
“We try to slot guys into different rounds so we have some flexibility so we’re not committed to one specific player,” DeCosta explained. “I think with the influx of juniors there’s going to be six, seven, eight receivers that get into the mix that we haven’t studied as closely. So, between the seniors and juniors, our hope is that we have guys in every round and we have the flexibility to move up, move back to get the guy that we want.”
USA Today Names Rice as Ravens’ MVP
USA Today dissected the 2009 regular season for all 32 teams and crowned an MVP for each. The rather obvious pick for the Ravens was running back Ray Rice.
“The second-year tailback from Rutgers put his array of talents on display in 2009 on the way to his first Pro Bowl selection,” noted USA Today. “Rice was the vanguard for Baltimore’s fifth-ranked rushing offense, turning in his first 1,000-yard season with 1,339 yards. But Rice also proved to be quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite target, with a team-leading 78 receptions for 702 yards; both figures also were the best among NFL running backs.
“Rice’s 2,041 yards from scrimmage ranked second to the Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson. Like Maurice Jones-Drew, Rice has a small but powerful frame that makes him hard to locate and harder to tackle. The dynamic element he brought established the Ravens, long reliant on their dominant defense, as a team that could just as easily beat opponents with a shootout as with a shutout.”