Lewis: It's Kind Of Like A Chess Match

Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis talked with the Indianapolis media in a conference call earlier this week. See what the long-time Ravens' star had to say about the Colts, Peyton Manning, new coach John Harbaugh, and more!

On the history with Colts and how he approaches this game:

"I think the same way. I think they know exactly what they're going to get, we know exactly what we're going to get. They're a heck of a football team, and I think we play each other very well. The games always come down one way or another, outside of a couple of lopsided losses due to injuries from our standpoint, but it's really just that we know what we're getting and pretty much they know what they're getting. So it ends up just being a great game."

On one of the best offenses vs. one of best defenses:

"The realistic fact of it is that's always there. You think (about it), Peyton Manning and his offense are always doing what they're doing, and me and my defense area always doing what we're doing. We just go at it. It's kind of like a chess match, playing, disguising this, disguising that, making sure you're in this position, making sure you're in that position, he's getting his troops right and I'm getting my troops right. I think it's one of the most intriguing matchups just from a brain standpoint that we can really get after each other mentally as well."

On what makes his defense so good year after year:

"I just think once you have your core set, and I've been here now 13 years, and you kind of establish a certain type of mentality, no matter who it is, no matters who's coming in and playing. One thing I try to tell people, honestly, football never changes. Football never changes, so don't complicate football. When you come in there's a certain standard that you have to uphold, so if there's anything that keeps our defense playing at a very high level, I just think it's the standard, bottom line."

On being among the top defenses since he's been there and if it's frustrating not having a top offense to go with it:

"Yes, it's kind of the same thing, and I'll use the analogy how when I was in the league for years and I knew how good Peyton Manning and his offense was but the defensive side of the ball couldn't catch up with them no matter how many points they scored. We kind of look at ourselves the exact same way just from the defensive side of the ball. You just have to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing until you do get that balance that everybody looks for offensively and defensively where you can go and play a 60-minute ballgame and don't have a handicap on one side of the ball. So the bottom line is you just have to keep pushing through it no matter what it is and when it does turn, it does turn."

On the Ravens having 15 different starting QBs since Manning became the starter in Indy:

"The thing for me is do you honestly get caught up in all that or do you just come back in and do what you can do with your side of the ball? And that's the way we've always dealt with it. We walk into it as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team. The bottom line is defensively, our goal is every time we step out on the field, we have an opportunity to make a play. Does it get frustrating? It always gets frustrating if you have a handicap of any sort on your team. But I think just like any great team, no matter who it is, when you have to find a way to win, you just have to find a way to win. You just have to block all that stuff out."

On if he talks to QB-Peyton Manning at the line of scrimmage:

"I do, I do, I mess around. I just mess with him a lot of times. Like I said, it's the ultimate chess match. So when he walks up there, I might just say something, ‘Alright, now, you better hurry up with that play clock going.' Something like that, or just something real simple. But it's not anything like over-drawn out where I have a conversation with him. I'm really most of the time trying to listen to the little checks, what dummy calls are real, what are not real, things like that. So that's kind of what I'll be up there for."

On if he has figured out what are dummy calls and what aren't:

"I've got a nice beat on it. I won't give it all away. I've got a nice beat on just how to play against him and how to get my people in position. That's why I think the games are so good, because at the end it just comes down to them making a play or us making a play, bottom line, not really scheming where you trick somebody. It just comes down to whoever just makes the play."

On Head Coach John Harbaugh:

"Harbaugh's a very energetic guy. He's very personable with his players. That by itself wins dramatically over anything. He's just that type of guy. You come in to work, you put your work in on the practice field, you and him will be the best of friends, the best working partners you can have in a relationship. That's kind of what you appreciate in John."


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