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On Thursday Ray Lewis once again was behind a microphone this time on Sportcenter.  Here’s the transcript from that interview:
Why do you think you can be better than you are now?
Ah, that’s easy.  The game is easier.  The only thing that becomes hard when you get as dominant as I am in this game is people put a bullseye on your head.  And the thing that frustrates a person like myself is that if you don’t give me the proper tools to be dominant.  You see.  And that hasn’t been brought up to say ok, I’ve got the Michael Jordan of football on my team but I’m gonna take Scottie Pippen away from him.  A lot of people would have to question, would Jordan have won 6 championships without Scottie.  You see?
And that’s the same thing about when we won the Super Bowl in 2000.  You know?  We won the Super Bowl in 2000 because I had two guys in front of me that told me, “You will not be touched.  That’s our job, bottom line.”  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.  That ain’t my game.
How did it make you feel when you had a formula you thought was a winning formula and it was changed?
When you took those guys away from me, you took a piece of me with them.  That’s just the bottom line, you know?  And so now, you ask yourself a serious question you know, when you’re out there fighting and going through things that you shouldn’t be going through.  When you see other linebackers just running all day, you know…it’s amazing.  You know that you’re thinking, “Like wow, if I could run like that – oh yeah!”
How much would you like to be somewhere else?
I’ve never told one time anybody in the organization that I don’t want to be in Baltimore.  That’s not the issue.  The issue is, are you gonna let me do what I do and if not, let me go!  That’s all I ask.
When you see some of the other situations out there that other teams have created how attractive is that to you?
[It’s] tough!  Why wouldn’t it be attractive?  Why wouldn’t it be attractive?  That’s why you play the game.  You play the game so your dominance is showing.  Yeah.  So if your dominance isn’t showing you have to ask yourself a serious question, “What am I doing?” 
What do you want to do?  Do you want to be traded?
Baltimore is my city.  Nah.  Traded?  Nah.  But at the same time, 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. 

(The Comcast interview with Kelli Johnson is at the bottom of this page)

Rumors in the Meadowlands are beginning to swirl
just like the winds at Giant Stadium.  One rumored trade has the Jets working a deal with the Texans that includes the No. 4 pick in the draft, the No. 29 pick (both held by the Jets) and some other combination of picks and players for the No. 1 pick.  More than likely the rumor flame is being fanned by folks in Texas who want Reggie Bush to come down of his No. 1 quarterback asking price.

Meanwhile, the Jets have worked out Jay Cutler and Matt Leinart and there is reportedly some concern over Leinart playing in the Meadowlands.  His ball doesn’t rotate as rapidly, it isn’t delivered as swiftly nor does it cut the wind like Cutler’s ball.  Word is Jets’ team officials are concerned.  Leinart hasn’t really played much in inclement weather and he hasn’t really faced the same adversity, pressure or scrutiny at USC that he will in the media capital of the world playing for a rebuilding team. 
Why all the attraction to Matt Shaub? Sure, he has excellent size and he’s very accurate – at least he was in Virginia and he does a nice job or reading through progressions.  But let’s face it, the man is slow and he can’t buy time with his feet.  He’s a pure pocket passer.  Speed up the game and factor in that he’s one dimensional and suddenly those passing lanes shrink.  He’s stats in limited action seem to support this notion.
So why all the fuss?  Why is the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that the Vikings will try to trade their No. 17 pick to Atlanta for Schaub?  Not so fast their Brad Childress.  Why not wait and see if Jay Cutler is on the board still at No. 13?
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen in his weekly chat opined that the Titans will take Vince Young before Matt Leinart if given the choice at No. 3.  What might that do to Leinart’s stock?  His college offensive coordinator takes a pass on the player who most consider to be the most NFL ready QB in the draft?  Enquiring minds will want to know…
According to the Nashville City Paper, the agents for Matt Leinart and Vince Young have both suggested that if the Titans select either player they could start right away.  Steve McNair could be here in time for the Spring Football Festival scheduled for May 21.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Phil Savage
is endorsing Charlie Frye at the club’s QB even if one of the top 3 quarterbacks falls to Cleveland at No. 12.  Word is Savage will look to trade that pick if Leinart, Young or Cutler remains on the board.
I’ve been thinking that the only thing that could be a benefit in finishing behind the Cleveland Browns is that the Ravens would get to pick before Phil Savage.  Five of the Ravens 10 picks are immediately after Phil Savage is on the clock.
ATTENTION ALL NFL GM’S.  If a QB is there and if that QB is Jay Cutler, stonewall Savage.  Ozzie’s deal won’t cost as much.  The draft pick trade value chart suggests as much.  By the way, for those that don’t think that GM’s pay attention to that chart at all, just look at the trade on Wednesday between the 49ers and Broncos.  The Broncos No. 22 carries a value of 780 points according to the chart.  The picks the Niners gave up (Nos. 37 and 68) carry a value of 530 and 250 points respectively.  Guess what that adds up to?
Have you heard about the Arizona Cardinals new stadium?  The dome itself is designed to allow natural light into the stadium which is certainly a nice feature but that isn’t the most interesting feature of the new digs for the Cards.  That would be the field itself which is set up on something described as a roll out tray.  The tray essentially moves the field indoor from the outdoor where it will be 340 days per year, exposed to the Arizona elements.  The field which weighs 17 million pounds is transported by 500 wheels aligned on 13 rails.  It takes 45 minutes to move the field into place.
Hey, what if the rolling mechanism breaks down the night before a game?  A bet that repair man could name his price, eh?
SI’s Peter King in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback piece wrote, “I think Washington safety Sean Taylor, if he somehow manages to escape jail time for that harrowing gun incident in Florida, simply has to have someone (Joe Gibbs, hopefully) get in his face and say, ‘You have to live without guns, and away from guns, for the rest of your life.’”
C’mon Pete.  Do you really think a slight 65 year old man is going to intimidate a chiseled 6’2”, 232 pound 23 year old athlete?  You’ve got to hit these clowns where it hurts – in their wallets.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the draft stock of Haloti Ngata is slipping a bit.  Maybe the Bills are just a little tired of the hefty DT and prefer a penetrator and that could be Brodrick Bunkley.  The Bills are on the board at No. 8.
They could be seeing double vision in New Orleans.  Last year the Saints selected safety Josh Bullocks and were very happy with the 2005 rookie’s productivity.  The Saints are in the market for another safety and this year, Bullocks’ twin brother Daniel is on the Saints radar.  Now that’s a lot of Bullocks!
Ray Lewis finally spoke up to a member of the local media and the lucky reporter was Comcast Sportsnet’s Kelli Johnson.  She met up with Ray while the Ravens’ middle linebacker attended a charity function for children.
Kelli Johnson: You rehabbed down in Florida and there was all this talk of why Ray Lewis wasn’t around – of why he isn’t with the team.  I guess, why is that the question still?
Ray Lewis: Ah, the question is simple.  I put it in God’s hands.  When it’s time for Ray to speak about that, I will.  It’s a lot of people that say cruel things that are lies.  And I’m a man.  I’m a God fearing man.  And I just plan time for certain things.  I can’t entertain childish thoughts.  There’s gonna 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.  And when it’s time for me to speak out to whoever I want to speak out about, if there’s a need for me to speak out about it, then I will.
KJ: Do you still want to be a Baltimore Raven?
RL: (Laughing) You know life is this…sooner or later you are going to have to come to a great conclusion.  Either it’s going to be your will or it’s going to be God’s will.  So for my life it’s God’s will.  I can answer that very easily.  I’m gonna dictate what I’m gonna do, you know?  That’s why people ask me, “Why might I not come back next season?”  I can only do the work.  God knows that that will come.  So that’s the way I live.
KJ: But you still see yourself as a Raven in Baltimore?
RL: I’m a Raven.  I’m a Raven.  I never spoke against that.  That’s what I said, I don’t have the time to entertain what someone else wants to say.  That would be like me trying to explain something that I don’t even know what they’re talking about.  So I don’t understand what the means.  The only thing I’m gonna do is train.
KJ: What do you think about Brian Billick?  He’s under fire and he’s coming back.  Is the direction and everything good and headed the right way?
RL: No comment.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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