*The Ravens were able to keep **Ray Lewis** after both sides agreed on a new contract. Baltimore defensive coordinator **Greg Mattison** sat down with BR.com for an exclusive interview regarding No. 52 and what his return means to the unit. *
BR.com: When you heard that Ray and the team had reached a deal, what did you think?
Greg Mattison:"I'm tremendously happy. Having worked with Ray last year, you get a great appreciation for him as a football player, and more importantly, for what he brings to our defense. Having him come back sends a message to everybody that the Ravens have a great organization and are a place where he wants to retire.
"Talking to him last night on the phone, he wants to finish the job. We started it last year and got close, but our goal is to finish it. With him in there, you've got a lot better chance to do that."
Will his presence help you as you transition to the coordinator role after being linebackers coach last year?
GM:"Definitely. There are so many things that he does on the field when you're not there that you couldn't do as a coach. Our relationship got to be so strong last year, that there will be a lot of times when we talk about what the chemistry is like, or what he thinks is happening out there. When you have a guy that you trust and is giving his heart and soul to this organization, you know he's going to everything he can to be successful."
What is this process like for you as a coach? I'm sure it was tough seeing a player that meant so much to your defense on the open market.
GM:"That's what makes the Ravens a top] football program. [**Ozzie [Newsome]** does a tremendous job. They handle that part of it, and we handle the coaching. He'll ask us for input, but he's the guy making the decisions. When we have conversations like that and with them doing the jobs they do, it just makes it easier to coach football.
With Bart Scott joining the New York Jets, Tavares Gooden looks to return from his hip injury and play alongside his fellow Miami Hurricane Ray Lewis. What can fans expect from him?
GM:"Tavares showed tremendous signs early. I was really excited about him getting a chance to play a lot as a rookie before he got the injuries. The thing that was really unique was seeing Ray take him under his wing and get him to do the things that will make him successful - the film study, the knowledge of the game and the effort to the football.
"Now, all of the sudden, Tavares gets to play next to another 'U' linebacker. That's got to be really exciting for him. I talked to him last night, and he's 100 percent ready to go. It's going to be exciting to see him get out on the field."