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Late For Work 6/1: Ray Lewis’ Interview During 30-Mile Bike Ride

Ravens hope Suggs returns late this season as specialist. Still have to endure Hines’ smile.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Friday, June 1st, 2012 at 9:06 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Lewis’ Interview During 30-Mile Bike Ride

You could barely hear what Ray Lewis was saying in his radio interview with Cowboys great Michael Irvin and Curtis Stevenson on WQAM in Miami.

At times it sounded like he stuck the mouth piece of his phone straight into the wind while driving down the highway.

Finally about eight minutes into the conversation, Stevens inquired about Lewis’ activities.

“Are you in the middle of one of your crazy workouts on the beach?” he asked. “[One of the] greatest, strongest men in the world, your workouts are legendary.”

Lewis responded: “That’s the funniest thing ever because right now, while I’m talking to you guys, I’m on a 30-mile bike ride. I’ve been up this morning since 5:30.”

He went on to give a play-by-play of what he had been doing since hopping out of bed earlier in the morning, but it was inaudible at times. There was something about hauling kids and their football teammates around, a hyperbaric chamber at 7 a.m. and then jumping on the bike at 9:30 a.m.

The 37-year-old linebacker mentioned he had three more workouts scheduled for later that day. That’s right, three more workouts after a 30-mile bike ride.

The main point of Lewis’ interview was to promote his high school football camp in a couple of weeks at St. Thomas University in Florida (details here if you’re interested), but the timing of the workout interview was interesting because here in Baltimore there are some Ravens fans, who Kevin Cowherd calls “sports talk show crazies,” dialing into radio programs complaining about Lewis and other veterans not attending voluntary organized team activities (OTAs).

But the attendance at these voluntary, emphasis on the word voluntary, workouts is overblown, says The Baltimore Sun columnist.

“Does anyone really think that 18 or so players missing a few non-contact drills in May is going to affect how the Ravens play in September?” Cowherd asks. “And don’t these talk-show crazies know NFL players pretty much keep themselves in shape all-year-around these days? …

“[F]or the most part, players know they have to stay in shape to survive the dog-eat-dog world of pro football. And who knows why some of the Ravens missed this week’s OTAs? Superstars like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed know what they have to do to get ready for the new season. They’ve been doing it forever. Maybe some of the other missing Ravens had important commitments.”

Turns out, the reason (or at least part of it) for Lewis missing camp was to spend some time with his children while still working out four times a day. Oh, and he is throwing in a youth football camp in his home state while he’s at it. And who knows what else.

After 16 years in the league, Lewis has proven he knows how to train and stay in shape during the offseason. The future Hall of Famer only missed five plays in 2010, and you probably would have seen a similar number in 2011 if it weren’t for a toe injury.

So as Cowherd says, “it’s no big deal” that Lewis and the other vets are training at home.

Ravens Hope Suggs Returns Late This Season As Specialist

Terrell Suggs has an aggressive goal to return to the field in October or November after suffering an Achilles tendon partial tear.

But to see the All-Pro linebacker in the lineup by midseason, and actually get production out of him, would be “borderline miraculous,” says SI.com’s Don Banks.

That’s why the Ravens are simply holding out hope that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year can return as a situational pass rusher in the final weeks of the regular season, according to Banks.

And while they are hoping for such a return, the Ravens are planning for his absence. Big difference.

They will look for a combined effort from Paul Kruger, Courtney Upshaw, Pernell McPhee, Arthur Jones, Sergio Kindle and others to help maintain a high level of play.

Banks explains that even with a loss like Suggs, the “next man up” mantra doesn’t “ring quite so hollow with the Ravens, who really have been there, and done that.”

“The defensive locker room has so much pride, so much tradition and history, it’s almost ingrained in them,” Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta told Banks Wednesday.  “Other guys understand how to pick up the slack, and we’ve done that at various times before.

“If you look at our record without a Ray Lewis over the last how many years, or an Ed Reed, we do pretty well. This is going to be a major hurdle for us. But sometimes an injury like this is really good for your team at the beginning of a year, because it forces players to emerge. It forces it. And someone’s going to have to emerge for us to be a good defense.”

Ravens Fans Still Have To Endure Hines’ Smile

If you thought you would never have to endure Steelers receiver Hines Ward smile ever again after his retirement in March, think again.

That is, if you are one of the millions of viewers who watch NBC’s Football Night in America on Sunday nights.

The network announced yesterday that it came to a multiyear agreement with Ward. In addition to regularly contributing to Football Night in America, Ward will be part of NBC Sports Network’s college football studio show on Saturdays.

How Ward will fare as an analyst remains to be seen. He could get his first test early in his broadcast career.

“Hines Ward, @mvp86hinesward, joins the Sunday Night Football team on NBC,” tweeted WBAL’s Gerry Sandusky. “Test of his objectivity: Ravens at Pittsburgh, Sun night Nov 18th.”

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