Rob Long: Ray Lewis – The Ravens Cornerstone

The word “cornerstone” comes from the first stone set in construction of a masonry foundation according to That’s a pretty appropriate definition for this blog.

While Ray Lewis was not the first draft pick in this organization’s history, he embraced this city and organization in a way that made him the cornerstone as the second overall pick in team’s history.

On Tuesday, Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun posted a column that ruffled the feathers of many fans, and maybe even players in this organization. To be honest, Mike is my friend, and he angered me as well when I initially read it. “How dare he bring this up at a time like this. Who does he think he is?”

But as I often do, I read it again and tried to see it from his point of view. Mike Preston has played football on a level that the majority of his readers haven’t. He’s been covering the Baltimore Ravens for as long as Ray Lewis has been a player. Even though he says things that stirs up crowds, he’s NEVER lied.

I hate what Preston wrote because I have no argument against it. As much as I’d like to, I can’t form an argument against anything that was written. Both Ray and Ed Reed are going to Canton, but right now is the time to think about the current Ravens’ team and their quest to get to Indianapolis. You have to do what’s in the best interest of THIS team.

The problem is, who’s willing to do that. I’ve been in John Harbaugh’s shoes as a coach. Say what you want, it’s not as easy as some make it out to be. You may not understand this, but some of those players would rather gamble with Ray and Ed on the field at all times than to gamble with them on the sidelines. That even goes for some of the men who play behind them. Do you want to be the player who whiffs on a play, only to hear, “Ray would have had it”? Somebody go find me Doug DeCinces.

Mike Preston was correct about everything he wrote, but the solution isn’t simple. Go, right now, and trade places with John Harbaugh and tell Ray Lewis that he’s going to play situational football. Go ahead because that’s the easy part my friend.

Now, go and address the team that’s playing for a right to win a championship. Tell them that you’re making such a drastic change right now. If, and only if it works, you’re a genius. If you don’t win the Superbowl, you’re a goat. Even if you lose 9-7, people are going to remember that you took Ray Lewis off the field.

For all of you who want this to happen, it’s a great idea. Heavy is the head the wears the crown. Good luck selling it the team.

Rob Long

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    […] Rob Long: Ray Lewis – The Ravens Cornerstone […]

  • Liberal Soldier

    I guess that separates Harbaugh from the GREAT coaches like Lombardi, Halas, Shuler, Landry, Sram and others. You do what is best to win the SB. If Harbaugh does not have the balls to do it. We will continue to play second fiddle to the Steelers.

  • Vanessa Yacola

    So who on this team, a good as they are, would you put in to replace Ray and Ed? There is no one on the team right now that can take us all the way- experience, team players, desire/heart, passion. If I were John Harbaugh, this would be a no brainer. They’ve earned the right to finish what they started this year.

  • Linda

    I totally agree with Vanessa. Take Ray out and you cut out the heart of the team. Now is not the time. He’s a a grown man and I think he will realize when it’s time to leave on his own. Would they have gotten where they are without him? I don’t think so!

  • Greg

    This isn’t fantasy football. Who are you going to insert in the starting lineup in lieu of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed? They are not perfect but they are still the best options for the team at their respective positions given the other injuries that the team has sustained throughout the course of the year. Certainly their skills have diminished over the years but their leadership compensates for much of what they’ve lost. Ray and Ed have 3 more good games in them. Give them a chance to go out on top and the decision will most likely be made for the team as the 2 warriors ride into the sunset and head straight to Canton.

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