RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lewis apologizes for ducking media

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lewis apologizes for ducking media

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OWINGS MILLS — Ray Lewis was in no mood for a conversation following a bitter 17-15 loss Sunday to the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.

Having tweaked his right ankle and whiffed on a key tackle on running back Joseph Addai’s touchdown run, Lewis declined interview requests without a word as he stared forward while marching out of the locker room

Lewis apologized Wednesday for the silent treatment.

"It gets no harder for me than Sunday," said Lewis, who compared the loss to the Ravens’ similar playoff defeat to the Colts three years ago. "I have a problem and I’ve always had a problem, and I pray about it a lot, but I’ve got a problem with losing. I don’t like losing. I don’t like losing frigging close games. I don’t like to lose nothing. I like to finish games out 60 minutes when you’ve got a team like that on the ropes.

"When you reflect back to 2006, it was kind of the same situation that happened. We hold them to five field goals and then you lose and they go win the Super Bowl. I don’t want to relive that again. Excuse me for not talking because it’s definitely not me. We were supposed to win that game, bottom line. That didn’t sit well for me outside of the things I was already going through, whether it was a foot, whether it was this or that. Sunday was a very bitter taste in my mouth.”

Lewis recorded 10 tackles and forced a fumble against the Colts, but the tackle he didn’t make drew more attention than any of the big plays he made.

Although Lewis didn’t make excuses for his uncharacteristic missed tackle on Addai down on the goal line, he did acknowledge that his ankle bothered him Sunday as he aggravated a previous injury.

Lewis was held out of practice Wednesday.

"It’s kind of a foot thing that I’ve been dealing with," Lewis said. "Bottom line, it kind of got caught between two people on a freakish play. That’s kind of the way things always happen. I came out of it okay.

"The limp was kind of obvious. The plant was whatever. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. Everybody is dealing with injuries at this point in the year. All you can do is keep nursing them and hope you’ll be 90 to 95 percent when Sundays come around."

INJURY UPDATE: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs remains a long shot to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee suffered on an illegal block from Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh emphasized that Suggs is making progress and Suggs has expressed hope that he might play if his knee is able to "miraculously heal."

However, Suggs was noticeably limping Wednesday while walking toward the training room and didn’t practice.

"We just don’t know with that thing," Harbaugh said. "It’s the same kind of deal that other guys have had around the league. Everybody says it’s the same thing: It’s day to day, week to week. When he starts feeling like he can run, he’ll play. He’s getting close."

Suggs isn’t expected to practice this week. The Ravens aren’t ruling him out, though.

If he can’t go, then they would likely shift Jarret Johnson over from strongside linebacker again.

"It’s not like he has to practice all week to play," Harbaugh said. "If he’s ready to play Sunday, he’ll be out there playing."

Besides Lewis and Suggs, safety Ed Reed (foot), tight end L.J. Smith (illness) and center Matt Birk (illness) didn’t practice.

Tight end Todd Heap (ribs) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right ankle) were limited.

Johnson (left shoulder) participated fully

The Ravens expect Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to definitely play after suffering a concussion in an overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He practiced Wednesday on a full-time basis.

"Ben’s always banged-up," Lewis said. "Ben is one of those warriors, man, who’s just going to come out and just play football no matter what the situation is, no matter how he’s feeling. Their heartbeat starts with Ben Roethlisberger. So, I’m definitely expecting to see him."

Not practicing for the Steelers: linebacker James Farrior and wide receiver Hines Ward (both non-injury related), quarterback Charlie Batch (left wrist), offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (knee).

Batch, Kemoeatu and Polamalu are not expected to play.

SUGGS PACKAGE: The Ravens have halted use of their version of the Wildcat offense, the so-called Suggs Package that utilized backup quarterback Troy Smith, the former Heisman Trophy winner.

One year after using Smith on option plays involving Ray Rice and having him heave a 43-yard pass to quarterback Joe Flacco, the offense is no longer a part of the playbook.

Why is that?

It’s mostly because the Ravens don’t want to take away any snaps from Flacco.

Harbaugh had no interest in discussing the reasons behind phasing out the gadgetry.

"I get asked that all the time as far as the ‘Suggs Package’," Harbaugh said. "We do what we think we need to do, and what’s best week to week. I don’t want to get into any reasoning for it. We have our reasons for what we do every week.

“We try to do the best we can to try and score as many points as we can. That’s a part of who we are, it’s in the mix, but if I get into it, it’s kind of tactical."

Harbaugh acknowledged that he was dodging the question, but was smiling and laughing after not giving out any information.

"I know that’s a cop-out," Harbaugh said. "Am I ducking the question? Yeah. I understand that, but I just don’t want to talk about it."

Flacco said that dusting off the Suggs Package hasn’t come up lately.

"I haven’t even thought about it, to tell you the truth," Flacco said. "We’re out there trying to do what we can to try and be successful.

“At times, we’ve been more successful than others. I don’t think any of us really blink an eye about what we have and what we haven’t done."

GETTING ACCLIMATED: Signed to the active roster Tuesday off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, new cornerback Cary Williams is intent on making a strong impression.

He’s expected to play on special teams as a gunner on punts and outside on kickoff coverage while he gets up to speed on the defensive playbook.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity," Williams said. "I’m excited to be here. Right now, I’m still in a learning phase. I just got here and I’m not going to learn everything overnight."

At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with 4.43 speed, Williams is bigger than most cornerbacks

"I’m tall, I’m long, I can run," said Williams, a former seventh-round Titans draft pick. "I’m still young and learning the game. The coaches said they want to groom me. I’m looking to do my best on special teams and work into the defense in later weeks."

New fullback Charles Ali, the former Browns player, spent time this season with the New York Sentinels of the fledgling United Football League.

"The UFL was a different experience," said Ali, who’s 6-2, 265 pounds. "This was the first year. I think a lot of good can come from it."

Ali suffered a concussion during the preseason, which wasn’t public knowledge under secretive Browns coach Eric Mangini.

Now, he’s looking forward to contributing on special teams.

"The AFC North is a physical conference," he said. "I think I’m a physical player. I think I can help out a lot on special teams, the whole nine yards."

QUICK HITS: Placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a knee injury, running back Matt Lawrence is expecting a long recovery. "It’s just a slow rehab," he said. "They just told me to go to rehab and work hard." … The Steelers signed quarterback Tyler Palko to the practice squad. Palko started ahead of Flacco at the University of Pittsburgh, which led Flacco to transfer to Delaware. … Harbaugh noted that the cornerback depth has been thinned by Fabian Washington’s season-ending knee injury. "Obviously, it’s not as good as it was because we lost Fabian," he said. "We felt like we had five guys that we liked and now we have four and we brought in [Williams]. We like him as a developmental guy, and we’ll see how fast he can develop into the mix. We need him to." … Rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb, the target of free safety Ed Reed’s errant lateral in the closing seconds of the Colts game, reiterated that he was surprised Reed pitched it. "I didn’t expect it," he said. "Yeah, I was surprised." … Wide receiver Derrick Mason downplayed the impact of the Ravens’ rally towels. "None, whatsoever," he said. "The fans just need to make a lot of noise. I think the other stuff is just props here and there. I mean, you welcome them. I would love to see every flag waving."

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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