Late For Work 8/10: Lewis Will Retire If He Wins Super Bowl

Plus did the Ravens do enough to get by Pittsburgh? And the first Power Rankings.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 9:01 am | Categories: Late For Work, Ryan Mink

Lewis Will Retire If He Wins Super Bowl

Wouldn’t it be the perfect ending to see Ray Lewis go out on a float rolling through downtown Baltimore, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy one more time?

That’s what the Ravens’ linebacker is envisioning.

Lewis essentially told columnist Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com that he will retire if the Ravens win the Super Bowl this season.

“My son will be a junior this year. I only play this game for another ring. If we can win it this year, and I’m being brutally honest with you, if we win it this year, I’m gone to then spend as much time as I can with him,” Lewis said.

“I’m gone to be with my son. And I feel like now we have enough pieces in place to make a good run at the Super Bowl.”

Lewis, 36, has hinted at this notion before. A few months back he told the NFL Network that he couldn’t see himself playing past 37. He joked that he didn’t want to be in the league when his son, a Division I prospect in Florida, gets to the NFL.

But as CSNBaltimore’s John Eisenberg points out, “this is the first time he has issued a concrete if-then statement.

Every time I hear about Lewis’ pending retirement, it doesn’t feel real. It’s as if you expect him to play forever, even though logically you know it can’t happen. It serves as a reminder to appreciate what he does that much more.

The bright side is that you can still see Lewis playing high-quality football.

He went to his 12th Pro Bowl last year and was still a playmaker, sealing the Pittsburgh and Carolina games with interceptions and causing and recovering a fumble against Buffalo in overtime.

“People want to use my age against me,” Lewis said. “They say I’m too old. People fear getting old. I don’t fear that because now I have wisdom and a tough body to go with that wisdom.”

Have Ravens Done Enough To Beat Steelers?

The theme of this year is getting over the hump, specifically Pittsburgh. The Ravens will get their first chance to do so in Week 1, when the Steelers travel to M&T Bank Stadium.

So have the Ravens done enough this offseason to overtake their rival?

Have Ravens Done Enough To Top Steelers
Right Click for Full Screen Option

The NFL Network crew had a spirited debate on that subject, which you should check out below.

Generally, former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi agreed with General Manager Ozzie Newsome’s widespread changes. Lombardi said the only free agent that Baltimore regretted losing was cornerback Josh Wilson.

“All the other guys, they thought they had to replace,” Lombardi said. “They’re getting older. They needed to get younger.”

Lombardi said when you watch tape of the Ravens’ playoff loss to Pittsburgh, there were four receivers waving their hands as if they were open, but they had players draped all over them.

“You’ve got to find a way to get more speed, you’ve got to find a way to be more athletic,” Lombardi said. “That’s what Baltimore is trying to do. Torrey Smith in the second round sends a message.

“And they also added Vonta Leach and another fullback because they’re going to want to pound it a little bit inside.”

For analyst Jamie Dukes, it all boils down to the quarterback, and he expects Joe Flacco to continue improving. The dissenter was former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

“I don’t think they’ve done enough to get by the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Sapp said. “What the Steelers are going to have is a healthy team, a veteran ball club, they get a fresh Troy Polamalu this season.”

Power Rankings Are Back

It’s that time of the year again…

Last year Baltimore, which added several big-name free agents over the offseason, had a run atop the rankings and were predicted by some outlets to win the Super Bowl. This year it’s a different story.

With the Ravens going younger, the expectations seemingly aren’t quite so high by the national media.

ESPN released its first preseason 2011 Power Rankings edition and the Ravens come in at No. 9, behind AFC teams Pittsburgh, New York and Indianapolis.

“The Ravens can go as far as fourth-year QB Joe Flacco is willing to take them,” AFC North blogger James Walker wrote.

The Steelers are at No. 5, the Browns are at No. 28 and the Cincinnati Bengals are in the cellar at No. 32.

Quick Hits

  • Domonique Foxworth’s status for Thursday night is up in the air. [The Baltimore Sun.]
  • New Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano gave all of his players a visual of how the Ravens’ defense was built and told them they’re all in the same boat to keep the legacy going. [NFL.com]
  • MASN’s Dan Kolko details the first fight of training camp. I’ll add one detail. After the fight was done, Pagano seemed so juiced up by it that he was shadow boxing by himself for a little while.
  • @Rwalter9: “Just got a @JayParmele jersey, currently getting ready to deploy hopefully I can get a RT #goodluck” … Ryan, I really hope you got the right one. Parmele just switched to his old Toledo No. 33 after striking a deal with Ricky Williams for No. 34. Williams told the media, “I didn’t need Drew [Rosenhaus'] help. It is a two-year contract. The terms are undisclosed.”
  • Check out this video of Jerricho Cotchery visiting the Ravens. Cotchery sat with Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome to briefly watch practice. The wideout also reportedly took a physical, but no announcements were made.
    • If you thought Bernard Pollard could only hit people, check out his dance moves, which were featured on Kansas City’s season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” [YouTube]

    • One more video for you. Lewis narrated Under Armour’s new footwear commercial, whispering “Do you hear footsteps, or are they hearing yours?”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,