After the Ravens lost the AFC Championship Game to the Patriots, Ray Lewis said publicly that he will not retire. And in a private moment with his teammates, he sounded even more fired up to keep going.
When the Ravens joined together in the locker room after the game, Lewis insisted that the team had to use the bitter taste of a tough loss as a reason to unite and build a better team next season.
“We’ve got to come back and go to work, to make sure we finish it next time,” Lewis said. “This right here makes us stronger. Let’s understand who we are as a team. Let’s understand who we are as men. And let’s make somebody smile when we walk out of here. We’ve got the opportunity to keep going, men. Let’s be stronger as a team, man. Let’s be who we are.”
It was the kind of inspirational message that shows why Lewis has long been viewed not only as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history but also as one of the greatest team leaders in NFL history. You can hear Lewis’s speech here.