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Ray Lewis, Big Ben Are Texting Buddies. The latest text…
As AFC North rivals, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger simply don’t like each other. But that animosity turns into respect once the game clock strikes zero.
The latest text between the AFC North foes came Tuesday night, five days before the showdown at Heinz Field, reported Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette.
“He hit [texted] me last night,” Lewis said. “We always hit each other.”
Roethlisberger would prefer Lewis had the chance to “hit” him on the football field rather than through the phone. Instead the Steelers’ quarterback will be on the sidelines while he finishes his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after being accused by a 20-year-old female college student of sexual assault.
“He wishes he was out there, he wishes he was out there, man,” Lewis related. “It’s a respect thing that we have playing against each other. It’s a rivalry, but, once again, it goes back to a level of respect.
“This aint the first time he texted me. We texted each other whenever he was going through what he was going through, I was there for him. It’s more of a brotherhood. The game always takes care of itself on the field, but off the field if we don’t look out for each other nobody else will.”
Lewis said he and Roethlisberger have been in contact since Roethlisberger’s legal troubles began last March. Lewis, who has endured off-field issues of his own, encouraged Roethlisberger to put his troubles behind him and move forward.
“You’re not trying to please the world; if you’re trying to please the world you’re going to confuse yourself,” Lewis explained. “If you’re going to worry what people say about you, you’re going to confuse yourself.
“All you can do is move on, live on and whatever he puts behind him as a man, and he puts behind him whatever he’s going through, leave it there. Don’t let nobody pull you back into it; don’t let nobody make you keep talking about it. Once it’s done, it’s done.”
Steelers ‘Won’t Be Fooled;’ Prepping For Rice
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is aware of running back Ray Rice’s knee contusion, but Tomlin still believes it’s in his team’s best interest to prepare for Rice.
“We’re just going to prepare with the assumption that [Rice is] going to play,” Tomlin told Baltimore reporters during a conference call. “I think that’s the prudent approach to take.”
Even if Rice doesn’t play, Tomlin thinks the Ravens’ physical running style won’t change.
“In my opinion, their personality doesn’t change very much in terms of how they attack us,” Tomlin said. “That’s been my experience in competing with those guys. Whether it’s McClain as their featured running back, which we’ve seen, or it’s McGahee or it’s Ray Rice, they have a form and fashion in terms of how they attack us. Really, that’s what we’re preparing for.”
Teammates Prepping Boldin For Steelers’ Physicality
It’s not like receiver Anquan Boldin hasn’t seen the Steelers before. Ten of the 11 starters Boldin will face on Sunday are the same starters he played against in Super Bowl XLIII.
Still, Boldin’s teammates find it necessary to prepare him for Sunday’s unique experience.
For more on the fierce nature of Sunday’s matchup, several Ravens explain in the CSNBaltimore.com video below why this game is bigger than any other on their schedule. “We respect them, but we don’t like them,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said.
Boldin’s stock is on the rise after notching eight catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns vs. the Browns. “Boldin has been far and away Baltimore’s best receiver this season, and he has a knack for making the big plays,” said James Walker. [ESPN]
jamisonhensley: Ravens DE Cory Redding on his second concussion in two years: “It’s better today” [Twitter]