Q&A with Ray Lewis

Questions and answers from Wednesday's interview with All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who was listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC North showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of his injured shoulder

Will you be able to play?

"That's on the doctors. I want to be out there. It's kind of frustrating being on the sidelines, but I'm fine, uplifted, my spirits are good for my teammates."

How did your shoulder respond to lifting weights?

"My lifting sessions are going good. I really don't have a problem lifting. It's more resistance than lifting."

How have you handled being out of the lineup?

"It's always frustrating. It's been almost three or four years since I've been on the sidelines, so it's always disturbing when you just sit there and all you can do is just yell. I told Brian two weeks ago I know what it's like being a coach and I don't like it.

"I'm trying to really get back as fast as possible right now, but most importantly I'm trying to let my teammates know I'm still with you. I can be your eyes. I can't be physical, but I can be your eyes. Everything doesn't have to be right, but one thing you see about this team is we're playing with a lot of passion and a lot of heart.

 Thoughts on the Steelers rivalry?

"Everyone knows about this rivalry. There's really nothing friendly about it. It's one of those smash-mouth football teams. Now, it's for first-place again.

Would you use a harness or pain killers to play Sunday?

"Nah. Brian said he doesn't like that. My trainer said they don't like that for long term purposes as well as myself. I can't go out there as a one-arm bandit playing on all these painkillers and all that. That won't help me get done what I have to get done."

 Do you owe the Steelers some payback?

"I don't think we owe them nothing. There's bad blood between us regardless. They didn't go on to win a Super Bowl so they didn't take nothing from us. At the same time, this is just for the division lead. It's early in the season, but this is big. There's great athletes over there There's great athletes over here. They have athletes that like to talk we have a few athletes that like to talk

"I can't say nothing. I don't know if I'm playing or not. I can't talk any trash."

What have you learned from this hiatus?

"I learned how much I truly love this game. The only call that kept me off the field was probably brian or bill tessendorf. I have to respect that call and it's humbling. It's going to be fun when I do come back just seeing the energy of my team now. When I'm back, the light clicks on and we go to a different level."

Is it your choice on Sunday?

"No, brian has kind of made that clear that it wouldn't be up to me because if they leave it up to me I'm playing That's just my mentality I have one good shoulder and two good legs."

What's your major concern?

"The concern is long term. If it pops right back out, then I'm out another six to seven weeks and we have no chance to do the things we want to do."

So, it remains a game-time decision?

"Oh yeah it won't be any day to day thing. It's truly going to be a game-time decision I'm probably not going to practice this week."

How does it feel?

"I can do other things on it I'm still not me. Will I ever be 100 percent probably not? The way it feels now probably not range mof moeiton I havfe good strength. That's probably my biggest thing right now. If I had a harness that could take away all the pain, I would wear it."


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