Ray Lewis rarely seemed to be anxious.
But since retiring following Super Bowl XLVII, the former Ravens linebacker said he feels even more at ease.
Lewis appeared with his daughter at the Ravens' VIP screening of their Super Bowl DVD wearing a black fedora and sharp blazer. His tongue was bright pink, as if he'd been chewing on some candy.
"For me now, it's more gearing up for business, more gearing up for life and more gearing up for the kids," Lewis said. "The pressure meter is down a little bit and that's probably the biggest difference."
The next professional move for Lewis will be working as an analyst on ESPN, a move confirmed by the network Wednesday. Lewis will appear on Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter.
Lewis will travel to each week's Monday Night Football game, where he will offer analysis alongside Stuart Scott, Steve Young and his former Ravens teammate Trent Dilfer during the pre-game Countdown and post-game SportsCenter.
He will also make a weekly appearance on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning *and will have the opportunity to host specials similar to Jon Gruden's *QB Camp series.
Lewis is expected to start on August 1.
"Ray is a tremendous addition to our NFL roster and he will have an immediate impact on our coverage," said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production. "One of the most accomplished players in NFL history, fans will be drawn to his knowledge, experience and, of course, the passion he always exudes for the game."
Lewis expressed his excitement in a press release from the network.
"ESPN is such a big part of how fans watch and experience sports, especially the NFL, so I'm excited to join their team," Lewis said. "I'm ready to bring the same level of passion to this next phase of my life as I brought to the field during my years as a player. I can't wait to work with my new teammates, many of whom I've already known for years."
Since officially retiring, Lewis has been back in his Florida home soaking up his free time. He waived the green flag at the Daytona 500 and threw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers spring training exhibition game.
Other than that, he's been chasing around his young ones as he predicted he would.
"Life is good," Lewis said. "A lot of things are going on, spending a lot of time with the family, spending a lot of time with the kids. I've just been relaxing a lot and really soaking up the moment."
Lewis' locker has been cleaned out and his name plate removed. Yet he wasn't the one who came back to the Under Armour Performance Center to do it. He said he'll just "relax and chill" when he does go back for the first time.
The chatter around Baltimore since Lewis' retirement has been about who will replace him and how the team will honor his legacy. Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said soon after the Super Bowl victory that Lewis would "absolutely" get a statue.
"I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history and we will certainly look into it," Bisciotti said. "I would not be surprised if there is one there in the next year or two."
Lewis was honored by the gesture.
"That's probably one of the most humbling things that you'll ever hear for someone to do something like that," Lewis said.