Transcripts: Kendrick Lewis Press Conference

Defensive Backs Coach Chris Hewitt

Opening statement: "I want [to] introduce Kendrick Lewis. He's a guy that we were looking for in free agency. I think he's a guy that's going to come here and solidify our defense, especially on the back end. He's a guy that we'd looked for. We needed a veteran presence back there. He's a guy that has been starting in this league ever since he has been here. [He is] going into his sixth season. So, this was a dear addition that we needed for our team, as far as leadership, especially on the back end, and we're very proud and happy to have Kendrick be a part of our team." 

S Kendrick Lewis

Opening statement: "How are you doing? I'm Kendrick Lewis – new player, new member of the Baltimore Ravens, and I'm very happy to be here, and I'm here for questions if you guys have any."

On what he brings to the Ravens' defense: "First of all, I bring my leadership. I bring knowledge. I bring my talent. I bring my playmaking abilities to help this team out, even though this is a great team. I'm just an added piece that can help them become greater, and I'm very thankful to be here and be in this position."

On whether he had a chip on his shoulder after being a free agent the last two offseasons: "Absolutely. Coming from Kansas City, I went to Houston [and] played on a one-year deal. As a free agent, I feel like I played well. I felt like I played good in Houston, and I become a free agent again. Baltimore opened their arms and opened their doors to me. I accepted it, and I'm just here ready to work as humble and as grateful as I can be. And I'm just here ready to better this team any way I can and just go all out and give them my all."

On whether the Ravens' defensive mindset is something he has admired from afar: "Absolutely. I was just in there talking to [director of player development] Harry [Swayne] … You hit it on the nose. When you see Baltimore Ravens, you see their philosophy, you see their team is made up on defense. And me being a defensive guy and me being a safety, that's what I wanted to be a part of knowing that I had the opportunity in free agency to make the decision. And I felt like … I prayed on it. I asked my former [college] teammate Michael Oher about the decision, and he made me feel comfortable in making this decision to come here and be a part of the Baltimore Ravens family, and I'm looking forward to it."

On whether his previous shoulder injury is now behind him: "That's gone. That's gone. There [are] no worries in my book. I'm ready to put the hat down as I did these past two years. Early on when I first had the injury, it kind of bothered me; I had to get used to it. But now I'm healthy as ever, and I'm ready to move forward."

On his strengths as a player: "I see my ball skills as my strength. I see my knowledge, my preparation – week-in and week-out, day-in and day-out – on the opponents I'm going to face [as a strength]. I like to have the edge on those guys. I like to be a step ahead, so I take my film study [and] take my notes very serious. [The] classroom and on the field – like guys running plays, consecutive things like that – I take head of and it helps me in game-planning and studying film as the week progresses and as we prepare for opponents."

On whether he sees himself as a centerfielder: "As of lately – as in Houston – I got the opportunity to not just be a centerfielder. I got the opportunity to go down in the box and play in the box and make some tackles, which I led their team in tackles. So, I don't want [to] just put myself in a box and say I'm just a centerfielder. I'm an all-around player, and I'm here to do whatever our coach and the coaching staff allows me to do and wants me to do."

On how important it is to win a starting role in Baltimore: "I'm a competitor, a full-time competitor. No matter what position I'm put in, that's my goal to [be in] a starting lineup. And I'm going to compete from the moment I step on the field, from the moment I step in the classroom. I'm going to compete – and it's up to coaches, it's up to the organization to make that decision – but I'm going to give it my all."

On whether Baltimore envisions him as a free safety: "I can't tell you what they envision me as. They signed me here to help this club, help this organization, and whatever they need me to do, I'll be doing."

On whether he has a background with current Ravens players: "I wouldn't say I have a background, but [there are] some familiar guys. I trained down in Florida with [Matt] Elam a year or two ago, and that's one of the guys that I'm familiar with. But all around, Michael Oher, because I played in college with him. He was my host when I arrived up there on campus at Ole Miss. When it was between the decision [on where to sign this year], it was just a phone call away. I didn't even call him; I texted him, and he was just upfront. He poured his heart out in all the great things he had to say about this organization to make my decision. That's what it was."

On whether he plans to reach out to S Matt Elam soon: "I plan to. I haven't spoken with him yet, because I wanted to make sure everything was going through as far as the deal sealed, me signed and everything else before I reach out to him. But [he is] a guy that if mentoring him is a thing that he needs or the coaching staff needs, I'm willing to do that. But as far as reaching out to him, I will, because I'll probably be getting out there to Florida and training with those guys pretty soon."

On if he envisions Baltimore as a place he can play for more than one season: "Absolutely. Talking with my family, talking with my friends, everybody felt like this decision fits me more. I've been in Kansas City; I've been in Houston. With my nature and the type of person I am and how Michael Oher described this place to me, I feel like it's the best decision I've made. I prayed upon it, and God brought me here, so this is where I'm at."

On if he had offers from other teams: "Yes, there were others, but I wouldn't want to discuss them here. I'm a Baltimore Raven, and I'm very happy to be here."

On if the Ravens' successful pass rush had any influence on his decision to sign with the team: "Absolutely. When you make a decision like this, this is a decision that can affect my life in its entirety going forward in my career. So, I looked at the pros and the cons to it. I looked at everything, and like I said, I was grateful, and I was thankful, and I was happy with the decision that I came to make. I feel like this is a great fit for me. The pass rush in here has been phenomenal for years. Defense as a whole has been phenomenal for years, and I just want to help it become [better] and sustain that level of intensity, that identity that it has always had."

On whether he thinks there will be a major transition to playing in Baltimore's defense: "I don't think so. As a professional, it comes with the business. It's not written in stone when you first sign into the league that you're going to be on one team forever. So, the business side of it you have to take into consideration that you may be on this team this year, you may be on [another] team [next year]. This is my profession. This is what I do, so if it takes me to learn a defense here, learn a defense there to be successful, that's what I plan on doing."

On his reaction to a young player like San Francisco 49ers LB Chris Borland retiring: "I can't tell you what my reaction was. I pray with him. I wish him well, because I don't know the ins and outs to his situation, to his story. I wish him well in the decision he makes. I wish his family well, and that's all I can say about that."

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