Many Ravens players have said the right things about Sunday night’s nationally-televised showdown with the New York Jets, specifically pointing out the respect and friendships they share with former Ravens Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Derrick Mason and Jim Leonhard.
But before you get the wrong idea, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs described the Ravens-Jets rivalry as being somewhat similar to the Ravens-Steelers series but without as much vitriol.
“It’s a little of the same thing,” Suggs said Wednesday. “It’s not as friendly as you think because come Sunday night, Rex is going to try to beat us, and Bart’s going to try to get after us. It’s a little different because it’s a little personal because they once were here. There’s a little background to everything. We’ve got tremendous respect for them and love, but we’ve got a job to do. They’re in the way of what we’re trying to get, and they see us as being in their way. They’re going to do whatever it takes and so are we – by any means necessary.”
Inside linebacker Ray Lewis said seeing former teammates on the opposing sideline can be jolting, but he reminded reporters that winning the game takes center stage.
“Yeah, every week I see somebody different,” Lewis said. “It is what it is at the end of the day. Once they leave here, everybody knows the rule. Everybody knows the rule. You are no longer a Raven. You can start here, but once you leave here, you have made a decision to go on and do other things.”