Ray Lewis has become like the weather. Everybody is talking about him.
The narrative has become that he’s nowhere near the force he once was at linebacker and is getting pushed around. Speaking to The Baltimore Sun, NBC analyst and former NFL coach Tony Dungy said: “People are getting up on Ray and blocking him. He’s not the same player he was 10 years ago. When I was coaching, I told the guys, ‘If we don’t block Ray Lewis, he will make every tackle.’
“He had big guys in front of him, and he didn’t have to take on a lot of blocks. That’s not his strength. It’s tougher now for him. It’s a young man’s game.”
Lewis’ former Ravens teammate, retired offensive lineman Wally Williams, added to the chorus: “He’s outmanned at the point of attack. He’s not as physical. You see a lot of Ray on the ground, on his back. He gets overpowered and stuck to blocks.
“You can’t expect a guy to not lose a couple of steps with all the wear and tear on his body. You’re not accustomed to seeing Ray have so many problems. It’s glaring. It looks really bad.”
Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers didn’t give Lewis and Ravens much respect heading into Sunday’s game. “Names don’t scare me, man,” Vickers said.
As the talk about Lewis builds, watch to see how he responds on the field. We certainly know the spirit is willing. But, in NFL season No. 17, is the body?
(H/T to Pro Football Talk.)