Late For Work 9/24: The Ray Lewis Coaching Tree

Plus a look at Sergio Kindle’s future and the chances of Jake Delhomme playing are decreasing.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 8:54 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

The Ray Lewis Coaching Tree

Did you know that John Harbaugh almost put an end to the pregame introduction Ray Lewis dance when he was first hired by the team in 2008?

Turns out, Mike Singletary initially wasn’t keen on coming to Baltimore because of a misunderstood assumption that Lewis wouldn’t take direction. “Lord, why I am going to Baltimore?” Singletary asked.

Ever hear of the “Ray Lewis flu?” Of course not, opponents won’t admit to it.

“NFL Films Presents” dives into each of these moments of Lewis’ life, but this time the stories are told through the eyes of Harbaugh and five former Ravens assistants who have all gone on to be head coaches in the NFL.

The Ray Lewis coaching tree includes Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Jack Del Rio (Jaguars), Mike Singletary (49ers), Rex Ryan (Jets), and Mike Smith (Falcons). These men have been witnesses to unforgettable moments with Lewis, including his legendary pregame dance at M&T Bank Stadium.

“I was there when they started that nonsense,” M. Lewis jokingly said of the dance.

Harbaugh admitted that when he first came to Baltimore he wanted to put an end to Lewis’ dance because, looking from the outside in and not knowing Ray, he assumed that the performance was a selfish thing.

“Rex and I had this conversation and my first thought was, ‘You know we’re not going to do this.’”

Harbaugh approached Lewis about his decision.

“So when [Harbaugh] came to me, I said, ‘Alright,’” Lewis explained. ”‘We can stop it. I think you should just ask a few players here and there and see what they say.’”

The dance is still going strong, so obviously Harbaugh was convinced.

“You get into that stadium and Ray does that dance, the place just explodes,” Harbaugh said. “And that’s what Ray is all about. It’s not about him. Whether you come out as a team or whether you do it the way the Ravens do it and it’s kind of built around Ray Lewis, it’s where your heart’s coming from.

“Ray’s heart is all about the crowd, the players and his team.”

Ray’s heart was one of the first lessons Harbaugh learned about Lewis. But it was a lesson the former coaches already discovered.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Kindle Wrapped Up This Year, But What Will Happen Next Year?

We know that Sergio Kindle is now wrapped up as a Raven for the 2010 season as he is expected to sign a contract today.

The Ravens have been clear, however, that they don’t expect Kindle to play this season because of lingering effects from the head injury he sustained after falling down two flights of stairs days before the beginning of training camp.

“There’s no way to predict these things,” Harbaugh said last week. “You don’t know how a brain heals. It’s different in everybody and there’s just no way to predict it. So, you just have to see where it goes.”

With his future health and NFL career in question, what will happen in years to come? Will Kindle still be a Raven in 2011 if he is healthy? And what if he isn’t?

The Ravens can retain Kindle next year by submitting a tender to him as an exclusive-rights free agent, according to RavensInsider Aaron Wilson.

Which means the organization will continue to evaluate the progress of Kindle. By the time tender designations are due in March, everyone should have a clearer picture of Kindle’s growth and his capabilities for the future. If they opt to do so, the Ravens are in a good position to retain Kindle and help him become the defensive player they envisioned when they used their first draft pick on him in April.

Chances of Delhomme Playing Are Decreasing

Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme missed his second consecutive day of practice Thursday due to an injured ankle, which means backup quarterback Seneca Wallace likely will start against the Ravens this Sunday, according to ESPN’s James Walker.

Walker added that while Delhomme has not been ruled out, he has been wearing a boot and Wallace has taken all the first-team reps in practice since last week.

Tavares Gooden Awaiting Second Opinion

Linebacker Tavares Gooden is awaiting a second medical opinion on his dislocated left shoulder and it is unclear if surgery will be required to repair the damage, reported National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson.

“By the end of the week, I should know everything,” said Gooden, who is expected to miss at least the next few weeks of football.

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