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Ray Lewis a bust as NFL analyst? Don't bet on it

Ray LewisFootballBaltimore RavensESPNNFL

A hot topic among Ravens fans this week is this: how well will Ray Lewis do in his new role next fall as an ESPN talking head?

According to reports, Lewis will appear on the network's "Monday Night Countdown," "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "SportsCenter" shows.

But apparently some fans on sports talk radio and message boards are worried he'll come off either as too intense, too preachy or too rambling.

Personally, I don't see that at all.

Just as Lewis was the consummate pro for 17 seasons with the Ravens, preparing for every game with an astonishing attention to detail, he'll prepare the same way for life behind the microphone.

He'll be well-coached by the network, too. And he has all spring and summer to polish his new craft.

He'll be taught how to make his points directly, how to interact with the others on the set, when to talk, when to shut up completely. If the network consultants are smart, they'll let Ray's passion for the game and his amiability shine through and not be stifled by a lot of show prep.

I've heard some Ravens fans say they worry there'll be too much "God talk" from Lewis on the set. But that strikes me as ridiculous, too.

There's no question he's a devout Christian. And maybe there were times during the Ravens' late-season run to the Super Bowl and his celebrated "last ride" when his exhuberance took over in interviews and he rambled on too much about his faith.

But the man is no dummy. He's not going to spout off about God on the set of a football show devoted to getting the masses ready for their weekly fix of football.

He's not going to inject his faith into an analysis of this team's 3-4 defense or that team's "pistol" offense. I can't believe anyone would think he would.

Me, I think with his love for the game, consummate knowledge and engaging personality, the man's going to be a natural in his new role as studio analyst.

So does ESPN, apparently, since they've been wooing him since he first announced his pending retirement.

Ray Lewis hasn't failed at too many things in his life.

I don't expect him to fail at this one, either.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Ray LewisFootballBaltimore RavensESPNNFL
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