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  1. #1
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    Ray Lewis' place in history



    Two items about Ray.


    First up, Gil Brandt's list of the two linebackers in history:

    http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000816217

    Brandt puts Ray at #8.

    I don't really have a problem with it. Brandt mingles the inside and outside backers, so you already know who #1 is going to be. The guys above Ray, I don't know anything about Bobby Bell (before my time) but the others are Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas, Butkus, Nitschke, Mad Stork, and Derrick Brooks. I mean, come on. I might quibble with Brooks, but he is certainly a peer. The others are flat-out historic players. Ray belongs in their company, absolutely: but I can't really have a problem with someone who says Ray shouldn't be ahead of those guys.


    Second up, Eisenberg piece about the disappearance of the "mauling" enforcer-type middle linebacker:

    http://www.baltimoreravens.com/news/...2-f617386b1539

    Eisenberg opines that Ray might be the last-of-the-breed of enforcing, intimidating "mauler" MLB's. I think Eisenberg is right about the evolution of defenders and the way the league is moving. But I wonder if he forgets some of what Ray was like as a young player? Ray was devastating in pass coverage circa 1998-2003. His speed made him a real problem for defenses. Many of Ray's famous highlights are pass breakups. I don't think the league is moving away from a player with the young-Ray's speed and sideline-to-sideline ability. Quite the opposite.





  2. #2

    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    I'll keep my "argument" brief.

    1) Ray was one of the best players of any sport that I've ever seen
    2) Ray, LT, <The Grand Canyon>, LB#3, ...
    3) I put LT behind Ray b/c the former was no doubt aided by the white powder for the front-half of his career
    "The Ravens are not taking Jimmy Smith at 26!" -- Me, the day before the 2011 Draft

    "On their way to the podium, the Ravens FO is going to collectively step over my dead body and select...Breshad Perriman." -- Me, the day before the 2015 Draft

    BP '17 (post Maclin rev): 65 of 115 for 1050 and 8

    @BigPlayReceiver





  3. #3
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Ray is in the top 3 if not for the "murder" charges, and playing in a small market.
    Running up posts since Oct '17 with meaningless comments because, well, what else is there to do with this team





  4. #4

    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Quote Originally Posted by DonNMass View Post
    Ray is in the top 3 if not for the "murder" charges, and playing in a small market.
    I kinda agree with this...I think peoples opinions are skewed because of their views of his role in that double murder, and he also played in a small market, on a team that frankly wasn't fun to watch for many fans for most of his prime (I would say Ray's prime was from about 98-2004 and we only made the playoffs 3 times in that time frame...we weren't big winners other than that 2000 season).

    If he played in one of the big markets and never had that night in Atlanta hanging above his head, he'd be almost universally thought of as the best ever.
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.





  5. #5
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Grouping OLB and ILB together is just dumb. Completely different positions.

    That being said, Ray was just insanely good. He's the best ILB in the history of the game. Pause. Full stop. Period. He played in proabbly the most difficult time as the game transitioned slowly. Towards the end of his career it got tough because he was just losing his athleticsm due to aging. But the game started to change in the mid-2000's to a passing league (didn't really start to make a full turn till the last 5 years, but the transition was happening duirng Ray's time) and he still stayed on top.

    He played every facet of the game extremely well, made plays and most importantly, he is probably the greatest leader in the history of the NFL. When players came ot Baltimore they knew instantly that when Ray spoke, you listened.

    Ray announced his final ride and the boys go on an absolute tear. Coincidence? No. That's you giving it all for your leader.
    Its not whether you get knocked down; its whether you get up.
    Vince Lombardi

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  6. #6
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Quote Originally Posted by Raveninwoodlawn View Post
    I kinda agree with this...I think peoples opinions are skewed because of their views of his role in that double murder, and he also played in a small market, on a team that frankly wasn't fun to watch for many fans for most of his prime (I would say Ray's prime was from about 98-2004 and we only made the playoffs 3 times in that time frame...we weren't big winners other than that 2000 season).

    If he played in one of the big markets and never had that night in Atlanta hanging above his head, he'd be almost universally thought of as the best ever.
    It absolutely matters.

    Oh well, people acting butt hurt is always fun to watch.
    Its not whether you get knocked down; its whether you get up.
    Vince Lombardi

    http://russellstreetreport.com/author/cole_jackson/

    Twitter: @ColeJacksonRSR





  7. #7
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    If Ray was a Giant, Bear, or So Cal team without the tarnish of his legal issues, especially since it was murder charges he would have been arguably #1. LT had a much bigger stage and media attention. The Ravens D, the pre-Harbaugh D, carried this team for how many years that will never get the national recognition it deserves. The D was squandered for the lack of an O.
    Running up posts since Oct '17 with meaningless comments because, well, what else is there to do with this team





  8. #8
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Actually, I think Ray suffers a little from "recency" bias, in the way that Brett Favre does. In the couple years immediately after Favre's retirement (his final retirement ), when you thought of Favre you thought of the old Favre, who was slow and threw too many INTs. A little overrated. You forgot about the young Favre, the 3-time MVP with the bullet passes and the linebacker mentality. From 1996-8 Favre was absolutely unstoppable. Dominant. He controlled every game he was in.

    With Ray, we think of the later years. Yes, there was the 4th-down stop in San Diego; but he wasn't usually an impact player, and he might have been a liability in coverage. It's easy to think that THAT is the player that he was, just a thumper; and it's easy to think he was overrated.

    I think it will take a few years for the "recent" image of Ray to fade in the mind, and for the picture of Ray in his prime to re-emerge. Ray in his prime was just ridiculous, huge and powerful and so goddam fast. He was EVERYWHERE. His film study made his first step very very sudden, and his speed got him the rest of the way there. It's not just the tackles, it's the INTs and passes-defensed. He was really amazing. His game changed as he got older; he was still amazing in his own way, but a more subtle amazing. Nothing subtle about his game ~1999-2002.





  9. #9
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Can't get past how stupid it is to group OLBs and MLBs. That alone delegitimizes the whole thing. OLBs and DE's maybe should be grouped together. Not even sure about that, but at least it separates out the pass rushers.

    LT was the greatest football player I've seen. That's just my opinion. He's the only player I ever saw who was so dominant that he was always the primary focus of any game plan (and it never worked). I don't believe there was ever a better MLB than Ray, but I don't recall him being consistently the overall presence on the field that LT was.





  10. #10
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    Quote Originally Posted by DonNMass View Post
    Ray is in the top 3 if not for the "murder" charges, and playing in a small market.
    can't argue with this





  11. #11
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    why they group all LBs together? That was dumb two totally different positions, two totally different set of responsibilities





  12. #12
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    Re: Ray Lewis' place in history

    That's a tough list to rank, and I agree that grouping ILB's and OLB's together on one list is dumb. Ray and LT are both #1 at their respective positions IMO.

    No ILB could cover the run sideline to sideline like Ray in his prime. No one studied the game like Ray. He used to have players over to his place after hours to study game film. How many others on that list did that I wonder? He anticipated plays before they happened because of his study. He was a thumper who made some of the most memorable highlights ever. His enthusiasm and love of the game was infectious, and it made the players around him better. Without Ray that 2000 team probably doesn't make the playoffs let alone win a SB.
    "Screw it, let's ride"!





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