Ravens replacement admits, life without Lewis will be “weird”

AP

The Ravens have had a few days to come to grips with life without Ray Lewis.

They’re still processing their way through it.

The man who will replace him in the lineup, Dannell Ellerbe, said it’s been “weird” not having the face of the Ravens franchise around.

“It is kinda weird [Lewis] not being around here,” Ellerbe said, via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “He just has that aura around himself that, I mean, you’re around him you want to do better. You want to receive praise from Ray Lewis, but doing something good, it means a lot.

“But it happened last year, he went out and the defense did a good job. We did good without him. We definitely need him here, but while he’s out, next men up have to step up.”

Having outside linebacker Terrell Suggs back will help, but it’s not a one-to-one replacement.

Lewis missed four games last year, but is expected to miss the final 10 (though the Ravens used their designated-for-return tag on him).

That brings a different sense than a short-term problem, which demands a different solution. Ellerbe said “no one’s panicking,” but it’s clearly a huge adjustment.

“I hate to have to start by default and start because he’s hurt,” Ellerbe said. “I mean, we did it last year when he got hurt, but it’s basically going out there and doing my job and winning a football game. It’s not so much trying to fill the shoes of the greatest linebacker to play the game, I’d be crazy going in and saying that.”

Of course, the larger truth is that the Ravens were becoming more of a Joe Flacco team than a Ray Lewis team this year anyway, and the loss of cornerback Lardarius Webb will have more of a tangible impact on the field.

But when a player has become such a touchstone for a franchise, there’s still going to be a void, one Ellerbe knows he can never fill.

13 responses to “Ravens replacement admits, life without Lewis will be “weird”

  1. In 1996 Ray Lewis was drafted #26. My Bucs drafted Reagun Upshaw with the #12 pick. I hate you Rich McKay you were THE WORST drafting GM in the history of the NFL… THE WORST…

  2. I’m a Steeler fan – and I agree. Ray Lewis is a first ballot HOF’er, and deservedly so.

    Much respect!

  3. Respect to the Steeler fans who realize this game and the rivalry is special…those are the real Steeler fans to me. As a Ravens fan I would only wish that both teams are 100% healthy when they go to play each other. Those are the best games…

  4. Lol the bucs also used their first 2006 pick on Marcus Jones the UFC Fighter. My Bears drafted pro-bowler Walt Harris, but the thought of Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs makes me smile.

  5. Your wrong…. Marcus Jones was our 22nd pick in 1996… Another total winner… But thats OK maybe your thinking of Gaines Adames (RIP) another monumental bust for the Bucs in 2007. We have plenty of draft picks to laugh at….

  6. Still dread the idea of a rivalry game without Hines and Ray. It’s one thing for Hines to retire. But just never expected Ray to go down to a season-ending injury. He’s such a fixture in the league, not just for the Ravens.

    Can he be on the sidelines in upcoming games?

  7. “Of course, the larger truth is that the Ravens were becoming more of a Joe Flacco team than a Ray Lewis team this year anyway”
    —————————————

    HA! Good one. Best joke I’ve heard in a long time.

  8. “Admits” life without Lewis will be weird? How about Ravens replacement “hopes it will be totally obvious to all NFL fans everywhere” that life without Lewis will be weird?

  9. There are great players, and then there are legends. Ray Lewis is a legend, makes any game with him involved worth watching. A leader and motivator in every sense, not going to be the same without him……..and I don’t even like the Ravens.

  10. Deb says:Oct 20, 2012 6:36 PM

    Still dread the idea of a rivalry game without Hines and Ray. It’s one thing for Hines to retire. But just never expected Ray to go down to a season-ending injury. He’s such a fixture in the league, not just for the Ravens.

    Can he be on the sidelines in upcoming games?

    ==================================

    Please don’t use Hines Ward in the same sentance as Ray Lewis. Hines Ward never was anywhere Ray Lewis’ class of player.

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