Super Bowl XLVII: Ray Lewis backs Baltimore Ravens team spirit
Super Bowl XLVII: Legendary linebacker Ray Lewis hails Baltimore Ravens' team spirit ahead of Sunday night's showpiece
After a season of highs and lows, legendary linebacker Ray Lewis believes team spirit spurred his Baltimore Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII.
The 17-year veteran tore his tricep midway through the campaign, but recovered to lead all players in post-season tackles as he homes in on a second Super Bowl ring.
And in his usual animated self, Lewis – who will retire after Sunday’s season finale – insists the Ravens’ resolve set-up their San Francisco 49ers clash after battling through an injury-plagued year.
“Now you get to enjoy the ride, because of the journey – the journey that we’ve been through this whole year, man,” said Lewis.
“To get Terrell Suggs’ news (suffering a torn Achilles tendon) before you even start training camp is devastating to us.
“And then to have five of our starters – I don’t think it’s ever happened – have major surgery in a season on defence.
“That’s never happened in the history of sports, and I’ve been watching sports a long, long time.
“And to have that many people get hurt, but then to have us overcome all of those things, and overcome those things because we believe in each other.
“Everybody called each other, no matter who was down. ‘How you doing?’ Every day. Somebody was calling somebody who got hurt, saying, ‘No, bro, just keep your faith, keep your mind right.”
Though the Ravens raced to a 9-2 regular season record, they entered the playoffs in a rut after losing four of their last five games.
A spectacular postseason dispatching of the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots coincided with Lewis’s return, and now the 37-year-old is desperate to relive his 2001 Super Bowl triumph.
“I keep grabbing (Ravens running back) Ray Rice, man, I keep grabbing these guys, and I’m like, ‘Bro, you will never forget these moments, ever in your life,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, you’ll never forget these moments, but you’ll never be able to live through the moments of feeling that confetti drop as you’re world champions.”