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Ray Lewis

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Ray Lewis, born May 15, 1975, is a former American football linebacker who played all of his 17 year professional career for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League NFL. He previously played college football for the University of Miami, and earned All-America honors. Lewis was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and upon his retirement following the 2012 season, was the last remaining active player from the team’s inaugural season.

Ray Lewis played middle linebacker his entire career, and is considered to be one of the greatest ever to play the position. He was a 13-time Pro Bowler and a 10-time Associated Press All-Pro. He was also one of the few players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three different decades of 1990, 2000 and 2010. He is also considered to be the greatest Baltimore Raven of all-time.

Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the stabbing deaths of two men in 2000. The following season, he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the Ravens’ record-setting defense to victory in Super Bowl 35. Lewis also became the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, and the first to win the award on the winning Super Bowl team. Ray Lewis won his second Defensive Player of the Year award in 2003, becoming the sixth player to win the award multiple times. A triceps tear sidelined him for most of the 2012 13 season, but Ray Lewis returned for the Ravens’ playoff run and earned his second Super Bowl victory in his final NFL game.

Ray Lewis was the top-rated inside linebacker heading into the 1996 NFL Draft, in which Kevin Hardy was considered the draft’s only outstanding linebacker prospect. Taken as the fifth linebacker in the draft, Ray Lewis was seen by scouts as possessing speed, tackling ability, and intensity, but many considered his lack of size a potential liability. Ray Lewis earned USA Today’s All-Rookie team honors after his 15 tackles for loss led the NFL and 110 tackles led the Ravens in the 1996 season. He added two and a half sacks, six pass deflections, and an interception on the season.

In 2008, Ray Lewis led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game while totaling 117 tackles, three and a half sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and nine passes deflected. He was named a starter to the Pro Bowl, his tenth such nomination, and was named an Associated Press first-team All-Pro for the sixth time.

 

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Ray Lewis