www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-lewis-recalls-the-early-years-20111228,0,16933.story

baltimoresun.com

Ray Lewis recalls the early years

Franchise's lean times haven't been forgotten by venerable linebacker

By Edward Lee

12:00 PM EST, December 29, 2011

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The Ravens have enjoyed a remarkable run of success recently, qualifying for four consecutive postseasons and five in the last six years.

The team’s recent accomplishments may have helped fans forget the club’s first four seasons of missing the playoffs, but one person who still remembers those lean times is inside linebacker Ray Lewis, who has been with the organization since being drafted in the first round in 1996.

“Who doesn’t remember them? I remember everything, man,” he said. “Coming here as a new organization, as a new team and really trying to adjust to everything we had to adjust to, that was a very challenging time for the Ravens – and even for myself. Coming from the University of Miami, we were accustomed to winning. And coming here and then going through those rough times, you begin to find out what you’re [made] out of. Again, the whole aura started to change around our city.  And now we have that. Now we have what all of the years I’d use to look at all these other teams [and think], ‘Man, one day, hopefully we’re there.’ Now we’re one of those teams to where we’re in the playoffs every year and we are always contending for the titles and things. That’s kind of what I want to keep the guys always honed in on is that opportunities come few, they come very few. But I think right now, we have the team that understands that.”