Ray Lewis Gives Team Inspiring Speech Ahead Of Opener

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Ray Lewis won't be in the huddle pumping up his former teammates (as much as he might like to) Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.

But he did give a speech to the Ravens after Friday's practice, two days away from kicking off their 2014 season.

It wasn't one of Lewis' well-known "Dogs in the house!" speeches, as Lewis has gotten a little more introspective since retirement.

"It was very profound," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "It was about team, about what you sacrifice to accomplish things and what happens when you look back at those things and what it means to you."

It was Lewis' first time back at the Under Armour Performance Center since the Ravens' ring ceremony following the Super Bowl XLVII victory in June 2013.

Lewis was in town for his statue unveiling Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium. He passed on the theme of his speech at the statue dedication to the Ravens players.

"He talked about how he's realized now that he's gone how much it was about the team," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He gave credit to everyone but himself at his statue unveiling because he realizes now more than ever how many people helped him get to that point and how he missed being with his teammates."

For many of the Ravens players, it was their first time hearing one of Lewis' inspiring speeches in person. They had been around Lewis earlier this summer when he dropped in on the team's open practice in Annapolis.

Lewis walked off the field chatting with undrafted rookie inside linebacker Zachary Orr, who was one of the biggest surprises to make the 53-man roster. Orr had a different takeaway.

"Oh man, that was a great experience – something I'll never forget. That was my favorite player growing up," Orr said. "He told us not to just come in here and be done. You have to go back, study film, know your opponent in and out. Being good is just showing up every day. Being great is putting the extra work in."

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