Ray Lewis has been the anchor of the Baltimore Ravens defense since the franchise started and it seems impossible to imagine the team playing without him
January 3, 2013 – Ray Lewis has been the anchor of the Baltimore Ravens defense since the franchise started and it seems impossible to imagine the team playing without him. For the past 17 seasons, Lewis has stalked opposing quarterbacks, tackled running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. He has been the inspiration of most of his teammates and has led them through the use of his emotional speeches and by example; playing some of the best defense the NFL has ever seen.
The time is quickly approaching that his days on the playing field will just be a memory. On Wednesday, the veteran linebacker made a stunning announcement that he would be retiring following the completion of this season.
Teammates of Lewis were shocked by his announcement. Terrell Suggs a fellow linebacker said he was caught off guard since he and all the other players thought Lewis would play forever. Suggs said it was sad that it was happening but amazing as well.
Lewis spoke to his teammates on Wednesday telling them that everything had a beginning and an end and that this season was the end of this career. His teammates all sat in silence after hearing the news.
Lewis has not played this season since a torn triceps muscle on October 14. He plans to return and play this Sunday in the Ravens’ first round playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, in what will probably be the final time he plays a home game.
He said that one of the happiest moments of his life would be when he is announced on Sunday and performs his trademark dance on the way to the sidelines.
Lewis said one of the biggest reasons he decided to walk away from the game was so he could be with his sons
more often. While he was in rehab for his injury, he was able to see his two sons play together on their high school football team.
Next season one son Ray Lewis III will play at Lewis’ alma mater the University of Miami. He said his kids have sacrificed the 17 years he has played and it is time for him to give something back to them.