Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Try and imagine Ray Lewis in a uniform that isn’t purple, black, and gold.
Difficult, isn’t it? But don’t give up.
Keep trying, and imagine Ray Lewis in the green and white of the New York Jets.
It may sound impossible, but it’s no longer a completely unreasonable notion. Rich Cimini of the NY Daily News reports that Ray Lewis isn’t completely opposed to wearing a new uniform in 2009.
In an interview with Jamies Dukes of the NFL Network, Ray Lewis was asked if he could see himself reuniting with Rex Ryan in New York.
“That opportunity by itself seems attractive. It sounds right,” responded Lewis. ”It’s like, wow, if something does happen where I’m not back in Baltimore, hmm, the Jets wouldn’t be bad.”
With Eric Barton’s contract expiring, the inside linebacker spot is already an area that needs to be addressed. While Barton is a good linebacker, no one currently in the NFL is of Ray Lewis’ caliber.
“It’s like, wow,” definitely captures the sheer magnitude of Lewis’ comments, and the impact he would immediately have in New York.
Ray Lewis lining up alongside and tutoring the young, hard-hitting David Harris. Wow.
Kris Jenkins knowing his efforts at the line of scrimmage will be immediately followed by the aggressive Ray Lewis to finish up a play. Wow.
Kerry Rhodes given the opportunity to play his game without worrying about things going wrong in the front seven. Wow.
Whenever fans tried to picture Lewis in a different uniform, one argument always presented itself: would he be the same vocal leader on an entirely new team?
That argument would hold no merit in New York. Stepping into a new locker room—with his reputation—led by a man whose defensive system he’s mastered would instantly make Lewis the go-to man of that defense.
Rex Ryan’s press conference made one thing clear: he wants the Jets’ defense to be immensely physical.
“You take a swipe at one of ours, we’ll take a swipe at two of yours. And that’s just the way it’s going to be,” said Ryan when he was introduced as the Jets’ coach.
Who better to help Ryan drive that concept home than the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive icon of the last decade?
In his interview with Dukes, Lewis continued, “It’s a young Jets team that has a lot of talent across the board. If you [add me to] that equation, that team goes from being ‘okay’ to ‘Let’s go win this.’”
Wow. He’s absolutely right.
He’d be a player-coach on the New York Jets who still plays at a top level and hits really hard.
Now to handle Brett Favre and that pesky contract of his.