Wearing a black fedora and a dark checkered blazer and with his daughter at his side, Ray Lewis attended the premiere screening of the DVD that chronicles the Ravens’ Super Bowl winning season last night at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric.
His first offseason appearance in Baltimore as a retired player, Lewis admitted that it felt a little weird to not be preparing for another year of football.
“Honestly, there’s no pressure because every year is always a new year, every offseason is always a new offseason. You’re always gearing up for something,” Lewis said. “But for me now, it’s more gearing up for business, more gearing up for life and more gearing up for the kids. The pressure meter is down a little bit and that’s probably the biggest difference.”
Lewis announced his pending retirement a couple of days before the Ravens playoff opener against the Indianapolis Colts. At the time, he could have hardly imagined that his 17th NFL season would end with Lewis helping the Ravens win their second Super Bowl, a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Asked last night about how retirement is treating him, Lewis said: “Life is good. A lot of things are going on, spending a lot of time with the family, spending a lot of time with the kids. I’ve just been relaxing a lot and really soaking up the moment.”
Lewis was the honorary starter of the Daytona 500 and he recently threw out a first pitch at a Detroit Tigers spring training game in his hometown of Lakeland, Fla.
However, one thing Lewis hasn’t done is return to the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. In fact, he said that he’s yet to even clean out his locker.
“I really haven’t,” Lewis said. “I haven’t been back over there yet. When I go back, I’m just going to relax and chill when I do go back. I haven’t moved anything out yet.”
Lewis retired because he wanted to spend more time with his kids, including his son, Ray III, who will be a freshman on the University of Miami football team in the fall. However, he won’t stray too far from the NFL. Lewis is expected to serve as an analyst for ESPN.
“It will probably happen, but it will happen on our timing,” Lewis said when asked about his future television role. “I think both sides understand what we’re doing and where we’re going with it.”
While Lewis has said that he’s not interested in being a coach, it’s likely that he’ll still be around the Ravens at different points going forward.
A future Hall of Famer, Lewis will undoubtedly be enshrined in the Ravens’ Ring of Honor and owner Steve Bisciotti even talked about having a statue of the linebacker erected outside M&T Bank Stadium.
“That’s probably one of the most humbling things that you’ll ever hear for someone to do something like that,” said Lewis when asked about Bisciotti’s comments.