R. Lewis griping about Ravens, role

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick tried to defuse another controversy involving Ray Lewis after the linebacker broke his media silence with a seemingly cryptic "No comment" when asked his opinion about Billick.

Hours after Billick's response, Lewis criticized the team in an ESPN interview where he expressed frustration with the Ravens' defensive scheme and personnel.

Lewis, who is rehabilitating from hamstring surgery at the Ravens' training complex, appeared to hesitate for effect when asked in a Comcast Sportsnet interview how he felt about Billick being retained by owner Steve Bisciotti.

"I saw the piece and I can't control the conclusions that people want to draw from anything that's said," Billick said. "All I know is Ray is in the building. Ray is interactive. He's working hard and he's upbeat about going forward. That's what I draw from a direct interaction with Ray.

"I can't answer for Ray. You need to put that question directly to Ray if there was more to that. Speculation about what something means beyond what is said, I'm not real comfortable with that. I have no problem with what was said."

Reportedly unhappy with a contract that will pay him $5.5 million in 2006 and $6.5 million apiece in 2007 and 2008, Lewis was asked why he rehabbed his leg in Florida last season instead of being with the team.

"When it's time for Ray to speak about that, I will," Lewis said. "A lot of people say cruel things that are lies. I'm a God-fearing man. There's going to be adults with childish thoughts and I don't have time for that.

"What we went through last year as an organization, all of that will be brought to a head. All of that will surface when it's time for it to surface."

Lewis complained repeatedly in the ESPN interview, alluding to the departures of massive defensive linemen Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams years ago.

"The thing that frustrates a person like myself is that if you don't give me the proper tools to be dominant," Lewis said. "We won the Super Bowl in 2000 because I had two guys in front of me that told me, ‘You will not be touched.'

"If you take that away from me, now I've got to alter, now I've got to bubble around people and that ain't my game. When you took those guys away from me, you took a piece of me with them."
Lewis reportedly lobbied for a trade at the Pro Bowl, and Bisciotti met with the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year in Florida to clear the air.

"I've never told one time anybody in the organization that I don't want to be in Baltimore," Lewis said. "The issue is, Are you going let me do what I do?' and if not, let me go!

"Baltimore is my city. Traded? Nah. But at the same time, it's just like any other businessman or businesswoman in America. 'What's better for me?' Because if I'm not being used right, you may as well just let me go."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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