Tag:Ray Lewis
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:52 pm

Rodgers tops Pro Bowl voting; Tebow third AFC QB

Aaron Rodgers led the way in all Pro Bowl voting.(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've wondered whether or not Tim Tebow is a Pro-Bowl candidate before this year and the answer is probably "no." But that doesn't matter when it comes to Pro-Bowl voting, where Tebow was the third-highest vote getter among AFC quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers, named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, was the top vote-getter among all NFL players, pulling in 1,581,982 votes from fans. Tom Brady was second among all NFL players with 1,454,311 votes. Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski joined Brady in the top 10, via NFL.com:

Top-10 Pro Bowl Vote Getters
Player Position Team Votes
Aaron Rodgers
QB Packers 1,581,982
Tom Brady
QB Patriots 1,454,311
Drew Brees
QB Saints 1,188,893
Calvin Johnson
WR Lions 1,180,777
Wes Welker
WR Patriots 1,133,787
LeSean McCoy
RB Eagles 962,824
Rob Gronkowski
TE Patriots 936,886
Ben Roethlisberger
QB Steelers 935,535
Adrian Peterson
RB Vikings 925,554
Mike Wallace
WR Steelers 923,073

So, yeah, breaking: the Patriots and Steelers are popular! Also popular? Tebow.

AFC Pro Bowl Leaders by Position
Offense Defense
Player Pos Team Votes Player Pos Team Votes
Tom Brady
QB Patriots 1,454,311 Andre Carter
DE Patriots 511,693
Arian Foster
RB Texans 896,804 Haloti Ngata
DT Ravens 592,603
Vonta Leach
FB Ravens 149,801 Terrell Suggs
OLB Ravens 546,851
Wes Welker
WR Patriots 1,133,787 Ray Lewis
MLB Ravens 413,222
Rob Gronkowski
TE Patriots 936,886 Darrelle Revis
CB Jets 561,986
Michael Oher
OT Ravens 327,644 Troy Polamalu
SS Steelers 230,649
Logan Mankins
G Patriots 337,844 Ed Reed
FS Ravens 198,075
Maurkice Pouncey
C Steelers 376,457 Shane Lechler
P Raiders 228,782
Sebastian Janikowski
K Raiders 244,512 Joe McKnight
KR Jets 140,926

Once again, I'll point out that the Ravens and Patriots are popular (and also good at what they do), along with the Steelers. Brendon Ayanbadejo was the leading "special teams" vote-getter, with 106,515. On the NFC side, well, I hope you like the Packers:

NFC Pro Bowl Leaders by Position
Offense Defense
Player Pos Team Votes Player Pos Team Votes
Aaron Rodgers
QB Packers 1,581,982 Jared Allen
DE Vikings 784,527
LeSean McCoy
RB Eagles 962,824 Justin Smith
DT 49ers 525,578
John Kuhn
FB Packers 322,260 DeMarcus Ware
OLB Cowboys 581,554
Calvin Johnson
WR Lions 1,180,777 Patrick Willis
MLB 49ers 581,554
Jimmy Graham
TE Saints 725,612 Charles Woodson
CB Packers 763,198
Chad Clifton
OT Packers 392,106 Roman Harper
SS Saints 147,542
T.J. Lang
G Packers 327,740 Morgan Burnett
FS Packers 223,292
Scott Wells
C Packers 436,693 Andy Lee
P 49ers 161,812
Mason Crosby
K Packers 184,665 Devin Hester
KR Bears 268,293

For the NFC, Jarrett Bush of the Packers received the most special teams votes with 134,696. (And yes, I suppose I could have kick returners on the offense side, but I'm not trying to have my tables be all uneven. Oh no I'm not.)

Naturally, none of this means any of these guys are guaranteed to make the Pro Bowl -- the fan vote only counts as one-third of the total. The players vote is worth two-thirds. But there's a good chance that many of these guys will end up in the Pro Bowl.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:05 pm

Report: Ray Lewis to return for Ravens Sunday

By Will Brinson

The Ravens are 4-0 since Ray Lewis was sidelined with a toe injury, but that doesn't mean the team isn't "very hopeful" he'll return for the stretch run. And, according to a report Wednesday, Lewis will be back on the field Sunday night in San Diego.

Lewis, who told reporters he's "feeling way better" Tuesday, is expected to play Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

However, Lewis was non-committal on returning when asked Tuesday at a charity event near Baltimore.

"I'm feeling way better," Lewis said, per the Baltimore Sun. "Way better. I thought I had a good chance the last four weeks to play, but the coaches are going to make those decisions. They're just being smart. I don't mind being smart. The warrior side of me of course is always going to want to get back out there."

The Ravens, at 10-3, are in a dogfight with the Patriots, Texans and Steelers for the top spots in the AFC. And their battle with Pittsburgh is even tougher; both are 10-3 and the difference between winning the division and finishing second can't be overstated -- the fifth seed travels on the road and plays an extra playoff game.

Baltimore also got somewhat lucky with the timing of Lewis' injury, as they played the run-heavy offenses of Cincinnati and San Francisco before beating the neutered attacks of Indy and Cleveland in the last two weeks, each by a score of 24-10.

San Diego, who's in a must-win situation, presents a much more difficult problem for the Baltimore defense, particularly they way they've played the last two weeks.

It was previously believed Lewis could be kept out as long as Week 17, but at the time, the Ravens intimated that if the game against the Chargers was "big" then he could return. Clearly, this qualifies as a "big" game, particularly with the Steelers not playing until Monday.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 10:27 am

Ravens LB Ray Lewis out till Week 17?

Before Week 10, Lewis hadn't missed a game in more than three season. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hasn't played since Week 10, and there's a chance he won't play for another month. He's been sidelined with a toe injury, one that is taking longer than expected to heal. There was even speculation that Lewis, who came into the league in 1996, might be done for the season.

Details via NFL Network's Jason La Canfora: "I've talked to numerous people in [the Ravens'] organization and they tell me the same thing: they're actually happy he's being prudent and listening to the doctors. Doctors have told him, 'Ray, stay off that thing until at least Week 15. If that game in San Diego looks like it's going to be big, then maybe we evaluate you then.'

"They recalled 2007, [Lewis] had a hamstring problem. He rode a stationary bike for three hours to blood flowing enough to be cleared to play in that game. He tore the hamstring off the bone. That was the end of the season. It's all about a ring there [in Baltimore].

"So if that Week 15 game doesn't really matter for the Ravens so much, and guys like Ellerbe are doing the job, (Lewis) may not go until Week 17 against Cincinnati. If that doesn't matter, maybe the playoffs.

"He will play again this year. They're not concerned about that. It's a matter of when does it make the most sense to get the most out of him."

Prior to Week 10, Lewis, a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer, hadn't missed a game since the 2007 season. The Ravens head into Sunday's matchup against the Browns with an 8-3 record and leading the division.

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Ray Lewis out for Bengals game, maybe more?

Lewis hasn't missed a start since the 2007 season. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

As has happened pretty much since the organization arrived from Cleveland in the mid-1990s, the defense has been among the best in the league, doing their part to annually keep the Ravens in the playoff race. In a critical AFC North matchup Sunday, Baltimore will be without one of their best players: linebacker Ray Lewis, who won't play because of a toe injury. It gets worse: Lewis could be sidelined for two to four games, which includes the Thanksgiving Day Harbaugh get-together when the Ravens host the 49ers.

The Ravens are coming off their worst loss of the season in Seattle, which is saying something given that they have also dropped games to the Titans and the Jaguars. If we're pointing fingers, the offense -- and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron -- is primarily responsible. Now the offense will be tasked with carrying the team.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora provided details during Sunday's GameDay Morning.

"Talked to team officials there, they don't believe that doctors would've let (Lewis) play even if Ray went through one of his two-hour marathon sessions to try to convince people he could play," La Canfora said. "But they're not ruling him out for Thursday. He told team officials 'I feel like I'm going to play in one of these two games.'

"People in (the organization) … said they know Ray, they believe he'll play (on Thursday)."

Depending on what happens against the Bengals, who will be without rookie wideout A.J. Green, Ray's return could come too late for the Ravens. If they lose to Cincy, they'll drop to third in the division; if they win, they'll be first.

Dannell Ellerbe will replace Lewis in the lineup Sunday.

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Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:45 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 2:25 pm

Report: Ray Lewis' toe to keep him out Sunday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In a big blow to the Ravens defense, the Carroll County Times is reporting that linebacker Ray Lewis will miss Sunday’s game vs. Cincinnati with a toe injury.

Quoth the Ravens
But that’s not all. According to the paper, Lewis might miss more than Sunday’s game as he tries to heal. The last time Lewis didn’t start a contest? That was 57 games ago in 2007.

Lewis reportedly visited a South Florida specialist this week to get a second opinion on the toe he injured during the Seahawks game, and apparently, the news wasn’t good. Unless you’re a Bengals fan, I suppose.

Without Lewis in the middle of the defense, linebacker Jameel McClain, who normally plays on the inside, could shift to middle linebacker or the Ravens could start Dannell Ellerbe in Lewis’ place.

UPDATED (2:25 p.m. ET): The team has listed Lewis as questionable, and he most likely will be a gametime decision.

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: November 17, 2011 1:06 pm

Ray Rice: '5 carries is not going to cut it'

Posted by Will Brinson

The situation involving the Ravens offense -- and Baltimore's inability to win games when running back Ray Rice doesn't get many carries -- is coming to a head, thanks to Ray Lewis complaining about Rice's touches.

But Rice himself has been quiet thus far, declining to speak after the loss to Seattle. Until now -- on Wednesday Rice pointed out, in a "diplomatic" fashion according to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, that he needs more carries.

"I'm never going to be the guy that talks about touches, but obviously we know five carries is not going to cut it," Rice said. "I know five carries is not going to do us any justice, but we found ourselves so deep in the situation that we had to climb our way out. We were looking for answers. Whether it was running or passing, we have to find our way out of a situation."

Quoth the Ravens

Rice also discussed why he didn't talk to the press following the Seahawks loss.

"As a professional, you have to sometimes gather your thoughts up," Rice said. "You have to look at a situation before you express yourself, bottled up with emotional thoughts. My reason for not speaking after the game was more frustration on how we lost the game, it had nothing to do with you guys."

Rice added that speaking after "an emotional loss" "leads to disaster," "trouble" and "people pointing fingers." This is 100 percent correct, just like Rice's point about needing more carries.

He's handling it the right way, which is the same way that Rice has handled his ongoing contract situation. (One has to wonder how those negotiations are progressing the week after Rice receives five or eight carries in a game, especially if it's a Ravens loss. "Contentious" sounds about right.)

Now it's just up to the coaching staff to handle things the right way, by giving Rice the ball more.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:34 pm

Ray Lewis: Ray Rice needs more touches for Ravens

Posted by Will Brinson

Over the past few days, we've pointed out that the Ravens would be wise to get the ball in the hands of their best player more often. That player is Ray Rice. When the Ravens win, he gets an average of 18-plus carries. When they lose, it's about eight carries.

On Tuesday, John Harbaugh refuted the claim that there's a connection between Rice's carries and the losses, but everyone's not in agreement with him on that. Specifically, Ray Lewis, who, according to our Ravens Rapid Reporter Jason Butt, believes that Rice needs more touches if the Ravens want to win.

"That's our bell cow," Lewis said. "If that talent right there isn't touching 25-30 times then you have to question yourself, what are we actually doing balance-wise?"

This isn't the first time a Ravens defender has spoken out about Rice's touches -- after the loss to Jacksonville in Week 7, Terrell Suggs basically told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco the exact same thing.

"I don't really know what the game plan was," Suggs said at the time. "When I have a Pro Bowl running back, and he's not getting his touches, I'm going to feel some kind of way about it. He wants the ball. And I think we should feed him. Ray Rice is a phenomenal player. You have to use your phenomenal players."

Over the next few days, everyone started pointing fingers everywhere, even though the obvious solution was, in almost everyone's opinion, to give Rice more touches.

And yet, three weeks later, he got less touches in another game against another mediocre team in another non-blowout. The Ravens have the talent to win the Super Bowl this year, but if they're not utilizing it to properly beat the teams they should beat, they might not even make the playoffs.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:01 pm

Tomlin said to be furious about NFL fine on Clark

Clark's collision with Dickson resulted in a $40,000 fine. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Tuesday there were reports that Ryan Clark and Ray Lewis could expect fines for their play in Sunday night's Ravens-Steelers game. Wednesday it became a reality; Clark was docked $40,000 and Lewis $20,000.

And not long after the fines were announced, Clark spoke frankly on the matter.

"Somebody else needs to step in ... not that I respected Roger [Goodell] before this ... but this is ridiculous," he said. "I'm not going to sit across from [the Commissioner] unless they handcuff me. which is probably the next step anyway."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette writes that Steelers head coach "was said to be furious when he learned about the fine from the league office today."

In a statement released by the team, Tomlin called the fine excessive.

"I am a proponent of player safety and the league's pursuit of improvement in this area," he said. "I, like the vast majority of people in this industry, witness daily the steep price that these young men pay to play this game on so many levels. Ryan has my full support if he chooses to appeal this in any way."

Judge for yourself:

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also supports Clark and thinks that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith should get involved.

"It's unfortunate," he said."You never want to see one of your guys get hit, especially for that much money. I went back and watched it. If you slow down and watch it, it's about as picture-perfect of a tackle you can make. His head was down right across the chest and the back of his helmet maybe grazed the wide receivers bottom of the face mask. Someone needs to stand up and do something -- like De Smith. He is our player guy, stand up and do something for our players."

Reviewing Week 9

Fair point. Smith hasn't been seen since the lockout ended. Maybe that's why, when the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly asked James Harrison Wednesday if De Smith should get involved his response was "Who's that?"

(We're pretty sure that was Harrison being sarcastic.)

But it's not just those in the Steelers organization that think Clark's punishment was exorbitant. Sports Illustrated's Peter King sent the following tweets Wednesday:

"Watched replay of Clark's hit on Dickson 20/25 times. Clark lowers head, aims for chest w/right shoulder. Clips Dickson facemask w/helmet. … This is not the kind of hit to generate a 40k fine. Clark DID hit helmet--but he clearly was aiming lower. Some fine? OK. 40? No way. … 'Fine Clark till he stops.; Stops what? Lowering his head and aiming for a guy's sternum? Bury a guy when he AIMS for head. Clark didn't."

As our colleague Will Brinson wrote earlier, the reason Clark is now out $40,000 wasn't the result of some blindfolded dart-throwing exercise down at league headquarters. It's because the NFL's fine schedule plainly states that the second offense for "Impermissible Use of the Helmet" will run you … $40,000.

The players are well aware of this. They're just apoplectic at the amount. Well, that and the arbitrary nature with with Goodell metes out punishments. Like, say, this.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com