Singletary Talks About No. 52

Some people have compared Ray Lewis to 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Categories: 2010 NFL Combine, Mike Duffy

The NFL Scouting Combine is underway here at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, where former Ravens coach and current head of the San Francisco 49ers Mike Singletary was the first coach to take the podium. 

Singletary, who coached Baltimore’s inside linebackers from 2003-04, mainly talked about the state of his own franchise, but I had the opportunity to ask him about one of his star pupils – Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. 

Under Singletary’s tutelage, Lewis earned his second Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2003, and then posted the third 200-tackle performance of his career in 2004. 

“Ray is one of those guys that works his tail off, and over the years he’s always paid attention to detail,” Singletary said in his trademark carefully-worded fashion.  “I was happy to have the chance to coach him for a couple of years.”

Singletary stopped short when comparing Lewis to a No. 52 of his own, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who was chosen for his third Pro Bowl last year. 

“The only thing that I would say about them is that they both have a ‘wow’ factor,” said Singletary.  “They make plays that make you say, ‘Wow.’  Ray certainly did that when I was there, and Pat is also there.  But, Ray is definitely one of the class guys in this league.  I’m excited for him.”

Willis has drawn comparisons to Lewis in the past, but whether Willis reaches Lewis’ Hall of Fame status remains to be seen.

Note: Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was the second coach on the podium.  He was a quality control coach for the Ravens’ defense from 1996-98, was born in Hazelthorpe, Md., and is a Mount Saint Joseph’s graduate.

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