Late For Work 6/5: Rousing Ray Lewis Trailer Debuts For Madden 13

Suggs not backing off return timetable, wants to shock people. Kruger must stay healthy.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 9:05 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Rousing Ray Lewis Trailer Debuts For Madden 13

Only Ray Anthony Lewis can leave you with goose bumps in a commercial about a video game.

While the EA SPORTS 90-second trailer below is meant to sell copies of Madden NFL 13, Lewis mainly shares the emotions of what it takes to build a legacy.

I can’t say I will buy the game – mainly because I don’t have time to play it – but I will print and tape part of his message on the mirror in my bathroom to look at every morning:

“I prepare so no one can take what is mine. No one can replace my mind, my heart. To be the best and stay there, sweat is necessary.  … Whatever you got to do to make sure you chase your legacy every second of your life. Do you be remembered? How will you be remembered? Why wouldn’t you fight for the greatest achievement ever?

“Leave your mark to endure forever.”

Suggs Not Backing Off Timetable, Wants To Shock People

A month has passed since his Achilles tendon surgery, and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs stands by his optimistic timetable, saying he still plans on returning to the field by late-November at the latest to help his team to the Super Bowl.

Suggs is already in a walking boot and getting set for the next stage of his rehabilitation, including some possible healing time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

“I’m going to shock a lot of people when I’m coming out of that tunnel,” Suggs told The Baltimore Sun. “I’m in a boot already working on flexibility, getting back that range of motion. Next week, we’re going to start a little walking and working side to side.

“I won’t say I’m ahead of schedule, but I’m a lot better than I, the doctors and rehab therapist thought. I kept telling people it wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be.”

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year believes that part of the reason he injured his tendon was because he was pushing too hard too soon this offseason.

He was partly motivated to never repeat his 2009 season, when he notched just 4.5 sacks and struggled with his weight.

“As I look back over this injury situation, it was just me kind of stressing, pushing too hard because I never want another season like 2009,” Suggs said. “I wanted a repeat, but only as the Player of the Year. And I want to hold that Lombardi Trophy.

“I wanted to make sure that championship game was going to be played in Baltimore, so I didn’t take any time off. After the last game, I left Baltimore and came to Phoenix and started training again. I think the injury is a result of me pushing too hard. I’m not 23 anymore. I’m not 30 either, but there are times you have to back off.”

Much has been made in the media about the Ravens’ right, under the collective bargaining agreement, to dock Suggs’ pay because he suffered the partial Achilles tear while away from team headquarters and can therefore be considered a non-football injury.

But Suggs said there has been no talk about that with the organization.

“The Ravens have never said anything to me about that and I hope they don’t,” Suggs said. “That’s just petty gossip.”

Kruger Must Stay Healthy

Teammates were stunned when they found out that pass rusher Michael McAdoo, a dark-horse candidate to replace Suggs, injured his Achilles tendon last week.

“I talked to him the other day when I first found out. It was shocking,” cornerback Lardarius Webb told The Sun. “I wasn’t able to tell him, but it was just shocking to us. So I didn’t really tell him too much.”

With the Ravens running low on pass rushers, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley believes that Paul Kruger, the current favorite to fill in for Suggs, must stay healthy.

“This injury has the Ravens crossing their fingers that Paul Kruger can stay healthy (and keep his Achilles intact),” Hensley wrote. “There’s going to be a drop-off from Suggs to Kruger. Suggs had a career-high 14 sacks last season, which is 7.5 less than Kruger’s career total. But Kruger is clearly the best option. Honestly, he’s their only option.

“If something were to happen to Kruger, the Ravens would really be hurting now that they’re without Suggs and McAdoo. It’s difficult to count on anything from Sergio Kindle, the team’s top draft pick in 2010 who has played two games since fracturing his skull in an offseason accident. Kindle is still trying to overcome hearing loss in his left ear.”

Kruger was chosen by NFL.com to become a breakout player this season.

The other option at rush linebacker is top draft pick Courtney Upshaw, who has played that spot this offseason and is competing with Kruger and Kindle for a starting job.

Webb: Vets’ OTA Absence Helps Younger Players

While some believe the presence of Ravens veterans at organized team activities (OTAs) would help younger players’ development, fourth-year veteran Webb made an opposing argument.

In fact, Webb believes the absence of players like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin (who actually has been present some during workout sessions) actually helps developing teammates in some ways.

“Just because Anquan Boldin is not here doesn’t mean he’s not going to come in here 110 percent ready for football. With him not being here it helps other guys get better, like Tandon Doss,” Webb told 105.7 The Fan, as transcribed by sportsradiointerviews.com.

“He’s had great OTAs because he’s getting more reps. He wouldn’t be getting those reps if Anquan was here. Ray Lewis isn’t here but Jameel [McClain] is here. Jameel is getting so many more reps at middle linebacker and he’s trying to catch up with Ray Lewis.”

Webb added that it’s not necessary for Lewis or other team leaders to be present to correct mistakes made by rookies or other young players, stressing that is the job of coaches and other teammates that are assuming more of a leadership role like McClain, himself and quarterback Joe Flacco.

For the vets, Webb believes the OTAs aren’t as beneficial because they already know the schemes and it’s mostly important that they come to training camp in shape and ready to play. The Ravens aren’t worried about savvy veterans like Lewis, Reed, Boldin and Ray Rice, who know how to keep their bodies and minds prepared.

Quick Hits

  • RavensInsider: Rookie guard Kelechi Osemele said he’ll resume practicing this week after an undisclosed minor injury last week, saying: ‘It wasn’t serious’ [Twitter]
  • 334Upshaw41: throw back!!! Me and the big homie @zeus30hightower found this on Facebook [Twitter]
  • McClain said he really didn’t consider leaving Baltimore to join either of his former defensive coordinators Rex Ryan (Jets) or Chuck Pagano (Colts).  “Why wouldn’t I [want to stay]? This is home to me,” McClain said. “This is where I want to be. This is where I’ve always wanted to be. So of course, I definitely have a comfort level.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Webb appears to be doing smart things with the six-year deal he signed in April, reportedly worth $50 million: “The money is long gone. I have put it in the bank account and now it’s time, it’s time to win a ring.” [105.7 The Fan/sportsradiointerviews.com]
  • The NFL will start hiring and training possible replacement officials with a deal not yet completed with the NFL Referees Association. [The Associated Press]
  • GerrySandusky: Why business leaders use sports analogies and sports leaders rarely use business analogies [Twitter/The Sandusky Group]

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