Ravens' Ray Lewis rips Rex Ryan and the Jets

Pro Bowl middle linebacker says he's sick of hearing hype over N.Y. team

September 09, 2010|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

An emotional Ray Lewis lashed out at the New York Jets on Thursday, ripping the team and coach Rex Ryan for their self-promoting hype.

Ranting for a couple of minutes, the Ravens middle linebacker reached a point where he got fed up from all the Super Bowl talk coming from the Jets. This should increase the drama for the Ravens' season opener at the Jets on Monday Night Football.

"We're talking about the Jets like we're talking about the Saints," Lewis said. "That's the Super Bowl champs. Until they play tonight, that's the only people that can be dethroned. Drew Brees and the Saints, not Mark Sanchez and the Jets. All of this 'We're the Miami Heat of football.' If you're the Miami Heat, we got to be the Lakers and multiple rings."

New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie referred to the Jets as "the Miami Heat of football" earlier this week because of all of the big-name offseason acquisitions.

Lewis cautioned the Jets, saying their chatter will only take them so far.

"The game ain't played through tongues," he said. "The game is played when you buckle up your chin strap. So, all this pressure [Ryan] wants to put on his team, I hope they can cash the check that he writes."

Ryan, who was on the Ravens with Lewis for 10 years before becoming the Jets head coach, said it "sounds like we got under Ray's nerves."

"It doesn't matter what he says in a negative light," Ryan told New York reporters. "I still respect him, but we are going to try to smash him."

Ryan angered Lewis in the most recent episode of "Hard Knocks" on HBO. After Ryan gave Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez the opportunity to call plays in the final preseason game, he talked about the time when he did the same with Lewis and Ravens safety Ed Reed. According to Ryan, Lewis "tapped out" after a few plays.

"We're not talking about whether I didn't want to call one defense or not," Lewis said. "Coach Mark Sanchez. Coach your Jets. My name should not come out [of] Rex's mouth unless you're telling somebody to come block me, which is going to be a very hard [darn] task come Monday night."

One player who will be looking to block Lewis is Jets backup fullback John Conner, who has been nicknamed the Terminator.

"The only Terminator I know is Arnold Schwarzenegger," Lewis said.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

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