M. Lewis returns to stomping grounds with fond memories of days in Baltimore

Ravens notebook

December 04, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Despite leading his Cincinnati Bengals on a four-game winning streak and a chance to gain a stranglehold on the AFC North with a victory over the Ravens on Sunday, coach Marvin Lewis is not burying his past.

In fact, Lewis, who was defensive coordinator with the Ravens for six seasons, is embracing his return to M&T Bank Stadium.

"Obviously a lot of memories there and a lot of great, great times," Lewis said. "Those memories there propelled me to where I am today. It doesn't matter whether I am a head coach or coached the left guard, it's going to be something. It is quite a place. I get goose bumps when I watch it on tape."

Lewis built one of league's best defenses, climaxing in the 2000 season when the Ravens set a record by allowing just 165 points in a 16-game regular season and won the Super Bowl.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, the catalyst of the defense, won't be looking to reminisce.

"My hat goes off to Marvin," he said. "Marvin is a great coach. He has done a great job in Cincinnati to turn that program around. After that, it ends there."

Marvin Lewis left the Ravens after the 2001 season and built a top 10 defense as coordinator with the Washington Redskins last year.

It has not been as easy in Cincinnati. The Bengals are 22nd in total defense this season, 18 spots below the Ravens.

R. Lewis honored

He may have been snubbed out of a Player of the Week award for his 18-tackle, one interception performance against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but Ray Lewis was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month yesterday.

Lewis recorded 58 tackles, eight defended passes, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in November.

This is the first time Lewis has won the monthly honor.

"I can tell you I'm having the most fun in my life right now," said Lewis, who has numerous Player of the Week awards and one Player of the Year. "I'm just enjoying the game, enjoying the competition when these guys come out and try and compete against you every week."

Weaver may be back

Defensive end Tony Weaver practiced yesterday and looks as though he will be able to play against Cincinnati.

Weaver has missed nearly all of the past two games with a strained neck. He and John Jones (leg) are questionable on the team's injury report, while Tom Knight (ankle) and Terrell Suggs (leg) are probable. Quarterback Kyle Boller (leg) is out.

The Ravens will likely limit Weaver's snaps to passing situations.

"I feel good right now," Weaver said. "I plan on being out there."

Meanwhile, right tackle Orlando Brown hurt his ribs during practice and will likely be listed as questionable on the injury report today.

Offensive line does the job

After giving up 16 sacks during their three previous games, the Ravens held San Francisco to one sack and less than a handful of pressures on quarterback Anthony Wright on Sunday.

The 49ers were second in the league in sacks heading into that game with 30.

"It was good," left guard Edwin Mulitalo said of the Ravens' performance. "That shows that we can pass the ball consistently and pick up all the blitzes they bring in. Now we just have to improve on our mental mistakes, offsides and things like that, because those kill a drive just as much as a sack."

The Bengals are average at pressuring the quarterback (15th in sacks per passing play), and are led by end Duane Clemons' six.

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