R. Lewis named to 8th Pro Bowl

Ravens

January 25, 2007|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will go to his eighth Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for the Denver Broncos' Al Wilson.

Lewis, who was named a first alternate last month, becomes the Ravens' sixth player - and the fifth from the NFL's top-ranked defense - to go to the NFL all-star event, which will be played Feb. 10 in Hawaii.

"It's always a privilege to be voted in to the Pro Bowl, especially when your peers have a voice," Lewis said in a statement released by the team yesterday. "This league is built on respect, and I truly appreciate the respect from the guys that challenge you every week. I dreamed of many things as a child, but eight Pro Bowls in 11 years, I am truly blessed."

According to NFL statistics, Lewis finished 23rd in the AFC with 103 tackles, which were the fewest of his career for a full season. But with Lewis in the starting lineup, the Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the past 16 home games.

Lewis will back up the Miami Dolphins' Zach Thomas at the Pro Bowl.

The other Ravens who made the Pro Bowl were offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, safety Ed Reed, linebacker Terrell Suggs, linebacker Adalius Thomas and cornerback Chris McAlister.

Lewis said last month that he wasn't bitter about not being named initially to the Pro Bowl.

"I never played this game for Pro Bowls," Lewis said. "Is it sad the way it goes down? Of course. I was around when the voting was right. I was around when you used to vote for guys for what they did and not by whatever comes up.

"Now, it's getting kind of crazy because the league is getting very young. These guys don't know how to vote no more. That's not the way the game should be."

Pro Bowl spots were awarded based on three sets of votes - by fans (online), by coaches and by players. Each was given equal weight.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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