Kendrick Lewis Chasing More Turnovers


When Kendrick Lewis is on the field with fellow safety Will Hill, he tells him this:

"Eyes on the prize. I'll see you at the money."

The money is the ball. That's what Lewis and Hill want to get their hands on.

That's just what Lewis did Sunday in Miami.

With the Ravens trailing by two points with four minutes, 29 seconds left, Dolphins running back Lamar Miller ripped off a 17-yard run on first down.

Lewis was blocked to the turf, but got up and chased Miller down from behind. He got his hand on the "money" and ripped the ball loose. Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw pounced on the fumble, giving the Ravens offense a chance for a win in the final minutes.

It didn't work out that way, and while the play got lost in the Ravens' 15-13 loss to the Dolphins, it's one in which Lewis at long last showed his playmaking potential – potential that he wants to show more of down the season's final stretch.

The Ravens signed Lewis to a three-year deal before the season to stabilize their deep secondary. Baltimore highly valued his experience, leadership and playmaking potential.

On the final one of those three, Lewis doesn't feel he's delivered.

The most notable missed opportunity came against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 when Lewis dropped what would have been a game-sealing interception. The Ravens ended up losing on a missed referee call and field goal.

Lewis hasn't recorded an interception yet this season and Sunday's game in Miami was his first turnover.

He doesn't feel like he's caught enough interceptions or made enough plays this season.

"I don't feel like I gave our offense enough opportunities, knowing the type of player I am," Lewis said.

"They brought me here to create turnovers and things like that, and that's what I want to do. There's been a shortage of that from my standpoint, but the season's not over."

From a leadership and experience perspective, Lewis has more than delivered.

After the Ravens' Week 12 win over the Cleveland Browns, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Hill both commented on Lewis' post-game excitement. He was ecstatic to see the Ravens finally pull out a close win, and that can be infectious.

Harbaugh has also been pleased with the defense's improved hustle the past several weeks, and Lewis' strip from behind is the perfect example.

"That's how I play the game, it's never over till it's over," Lewis said. "I'm a firm believer that if you get to the ball, good things will happen. That's what I pride myself on, finding my way to the ball."

Harbaugh said Lewis' strip was one of two "pretty incredible" hustle plays in Sunday's game. Running back Javorius Allen's 41-yard weaving touchdown scamper was the other.

Lewis said he reminds his teammates of that each time they take the field, calling out "all 11" as a reminder that everybody needs to get to the ball as fast as possible.

"The whole defense pursued," Harbaugh said. "We had five guys around the ball, and that's why we came up with the ball, too. It was a great effort play by Kendrick and the whole defense. Every single guy was running to the ball."

Considering Lewis is under contract for the next two years, it's a good sign for the current and future of Baltimore's secondary. The Ravens also gave Hill a new two-year contract that runs through next season.

On Wednesday, Harbaugh said he's pleased with the duo's progress over the course of the season.

He pointed to the fact that both players are still relatively young. Lewis is 27 years old and in his fifth season. Hill is 25 and in his fourth year.

"They've improved tremendously, and we've just got to keep coaching them up," Harbaugh said. "They're very willing; they're very coachable.

"I talked to Will about a number of things in the last three weeks, and every single one of those things, he has diligently and conscientiously improved on in the game. And as a coach, that's really what you look for. So, they're both talented, and they're both doing well."

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