Lewis Most Overrated Raven Of All Time?
This ought to get the blood boiling in Baltimore.
Future first-ballot Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis is the most overrated Raven of all time, says Dave Dameshek of NFL.com.
The league's website is running a series of all 32 teams' most overrated and underrated players, and Dameshek made a pick for Baltimore that he understands will be unpopular.
"I know people aren't going to love this," Dameshek said in the video below. "People are not going to love what I'm about to say here. You can guess where I'm going here. Ray Lewis [is the most overrated]."
Dameshek, who grew up in Pittsburgh as a Steelers fan and owns a terrible towel, per Wikipedia, says that Lewis was unlike anyone he had ever seen when the linebacker was in his prime. Lewis' speed was "like nothing else," running sideline to sideline and chasing down any player at any size at any position.
"But the fact of the matter is, in the waning years of his career – Super Bowl ring notwithstanding, the one he just got – he was not an especially effective football player," Dameshek said. "Maybe in the locker room before the game, he was good at the inspirational ra-ra stuff, but once it got in between the lines there, all he was doing was dancing and I didn't see a whole lot else. He was in fact, a liability."
Ray Lewis may go down as the best linebacker of all time, playing an unheard-of 17 years at a hard-hitting position. He has two Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP honor, 13 Pro Bowl selections, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards and is a member the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s. He is the franchise's all-time tackler (2,643 stops), leading the Ravens in tackles in 14 of his 17 seasons. Lewis is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 career interceptions.
But I have a feeling Dameshek doesn't need* *to be told all of that. I'm not really sure he believes his own pick for the most overrated, focusing in on Lewis' twilight years to support his argument.
"Twenty years from now, is he overrated?" Dameshek was asked.
"The entirety of his career? No," he said. "The last five years of his career? Absolutely, and I stand by it."
If you're in the mood to debate, the Twitter account you're looking for is @Dameshek.
More Overrated and Underrated Ravens
In case you were wondering, the other overrated and underrated Ravens, per NFL.com's JJ Territo are below:
- G Marshal Yanda (2007-present):"Many people think Ray Rice is the reason for the Ravens' dominance in the run game, but Yanda mauls defenders in the trenches."
- RB Jamal Lewis (2000-06): "While he might not wind up in Canton, Lewis deserves to be remembered as the greatest running back in franchise history."
- S Ed Reed (2002-12):"While Reed has been praised for the majority of his career, he still doesn't get enough credit."
- LB Peter Boulware (1997-05):"Boulware played at a Hall of Fame level, but will not wind up enshrined in Canton next to Ray Lewis where he belongs."
- GM Ozzie Newsome (2002-present):"Newsome doesn't get enough credit for what he's accomplished in his career with Baltimore. … With the departure of two Hall of Fame defenders this year, the Ravens won't skip a beat because Newsome has been hard at work in the offseason."
- QB Trent Dilfer (2000): "Now that the Ravens have a legitimate quarterback in Joe Flacco who put the team on his back to win a Super Bowl, isn't it time to accept the fact that Dilfer was overrated for far too long?"
- WR Jacoby Jones (2012-present):"The Texans released Jones "because he's not a starting wide receiver in the NFL. The Ravens will be in big trouble if they have to rely on him as their No. 2 wide receiver."
- DE Paul Kruger (2009-2012):"How does a guy with only seven starts in his career get a $40 million contract with $20 million guaranteed?"
- TE Dennis Pitta (2010-present):"The fact that Dennis Pitta is on the "NFL Top 100" is an abomination. Pitta is a solid young player with tremendous potential, but he hasn't done nearly enough to be considered a top-100 player."
Who's Really In Charge At The Ravens?
Each NFL team has a unique hierarchy, with some teams' general managers driving the team, while other teams' owners or head coaches running [add] the show.
How about at the Ravens? Who's really in charge?
After examining the Ravens' power structure, NFL.com's Albert Breer concluded that while Newsome has the final say over all personnel matters, "this behemoth is built on the strength of more than just one guy."
Head Coach John Harbaugh and Newsome have been working together for the last six years. Pat Moriarty, Eric DeCosta, Vince Newsome and George Kokinis are all integral members of Newsome's staff, and started with him in 1996, with Joe Hortiz coming aboard in 1998.
"In few other places does that kind of continuity exist, and the benefit is a tried-and-true system that is inclusive across the board," Breer wrote, noting that the depth of the scouting staff is the "real secret to success."
Owner Steve Bisciotti doesn't have a daily presence in the team's building, but he is a "valued sounding board" who asks good questions and sorts out issues. President Dick Cass runs the day-to-day business.
Game's Best Rivalries? Ravens Make List Twice
CBSSports.com's Clark Judge lists the NFL's best rivalries, and the Ravens made the list … twice.
Judge called the Ravens-Steelers rivalry the meanest of all, noting that the archenemies are not only regularly competing to advance to the conference championship, but they genuinely dislike each other.
"This is Boston vs. the Yankees in baseball, UNC vs. Duke in basketball and Tiger vs. Phil on the back nine," Judge wrote. "The two teams are built around suffocating defenses, winning quarterbacks and organizational stability, and they bring an intensity and respect for each other rarely seen elsewhere."
And the Ravens' second rivalry? It's actually a rivalry between brothers – John and Jim Harbaugh.
"Nope, they don't hate each other, but neither is OK with losing – which is good because, as the numbers tell us, neither one of them does much losing," Judge wrote. "I understand this is a stretch because the rivalry doesn't exist in head-to-head play. They've only met twice, for crying out loud. But don't tell me it doesn't exist in their bodies of work, because it does -- with one brother trying to outdo the other. Advantage, John."
- @untouchablejay4: I'm not saying I'm the HULK, but you've never seen me and him in a room at the same time! [Twitter]
- @torreysmithwr: RT @rwk_law: @TorreySmithWR -- what is your favorite nfl stadium to play in? (other than M&T Stadium)...Heinz Field [Twitter]
- The Ravens are sitting pretty after spring workouts. [The Baltimore Sun]
- When Michael Oher's opinion on a movie makes the front page of CBS Sports' NFL section, you know it's the offseason. "Michael Oher is watching you, Ethan Hawke, and he's not impressed." [CBSSports.com]
- Former Ravens fullback Vonta Leach says his decision for the next team he'll join will come in the next two weeks. "I know I can play in this league and I've got some teams that are courting me," Leach said. [ProFootballTalk.com]
- @pfwawriters: Indianapolis @nflcolts head coach Chuck Pagano is 2013 PFWA George Halas Award winner. #CHUCKSTRONG [Twitter]
- Me too! … @gdowning14: The Ravens are using digital media to gain a competitive edge. I'm proud to be part of this team! [Press Box |Twitter]