Rob Long: Ray Lewis – The Ravens Cornerstone
The word “cornerstone” comes from the first stone set in construction of a masonry foundation according to Wikipedia.org. 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.