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So Long Mr. Lewis

January 2, 2013. Posted by johnf

Ray Lewis announced he’s retiring today.

He’ll join the pantheon of Baltimore legends that include Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Cal Ripken.

Maybe he lost a step and couldn’t tackle, but no one can deny he was the “straw that stirred the drink”, to quote Reggie Jackson.

Ray was more than that – he was the engine that powered one of the top five defenses of all time.

It was a pleasure watching him play. I remember being amazed at how quickly he moved between sidelines, and his closing speed was brutal.

Next year, the Ravens will have a different “face” of the franchise, and that makes for an interesting discussion when it comes to branding.

Defense has been the brand of the Ravens for more than a decade. How do you transition that to offense when you don’t have a marquis quarterback?

Maybe the team decides to echo tough defense with the running style of Ray Rice, who isn’t nearly as bruising as Jamal Lewis.

Lots of questions for the team – the answers will be interesting.

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