By Edward Lee
1:23 PM EDT, September 28, 2011
Prior to last year’s season opener against the New York Jets, Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis grabbed national headlines when he chastised Jets coach Rex Ryan and his players for feeding their own hype machine during the offseason.
Lewis seemingly was referring to Mark Sanchez describing New York as a “dream team,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie calling the team “the Miami Heat of football,” and Ryan predicting a Jets’ Super Bowl victory.
On Wednesday, Lewis revisited his verbal tongue-lashing in an effort to lay out his reasoning for making those comments.
“I never got into the overhype,” Lewis said. “I’m just saying that you listen to all these different things that people are saying, and until you say all of that, you’ve got to really go do something first, and that is, you’ve got to win one before you say all of that. But that was last year. Hopefully, they don’t say nothing this year, and we can just play a good clean game.”
Lewis was then informed of Ryan’s earlier response in the morning to a question about being 0-1 against the Ravens. Ryan pointed out that the Jets have advanced to the AFC championship in each of the last two seasons but are still waiting for the Ravens to meet them there.
“Wow. Yeah, the only response I could ever have for that is he was sitting in the same place I was sitting: watching the Super Bowl,” Lewis said. “He had to be because he wasn’t in it. And that’s the only thing you can ever talk about. I don’t care how far you go. The ultimate goal is to feel that confetti drop. You can ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. They wouldn’t be proud to go back to a Super Bowl. The bottom line is, you have to win the Super Bowl when you get there. So going to the AFC championship, going to the playoffs, I’ve done all of that, and at the end of the day, the only thing that I remember the most is when I touched that confetti in 2000 and that’s what I’m still in the game for. So whether it’s them in the way or whoever’s in the way, here we go again.”
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