PITTSBURGH - Linebacker Ray Lewis smiled at how well his surgically repaired shoulder felt after the Ravens' 34-15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday.
Lewis participated in his first full game since November, when he played in pain throughout a game with the Miami Dolphins before deciding to end his season.
"I'm fine. My shoulder is going to be what it's going to be," Lewis said. "It's not hurting; it's not bothering me."
What was bothering Lewis was his altercation with Steelers linebacker Joey Porter before the game.
Lewis said he was offering words of encouragement to Porter, who missed the game after getting shot last week. Porter, though, wanted nothing to do with Lewis, according to the Ravens star.
"My words to Joey Porter were, 'You are in my prayers,' " Lewis said. "As soon as I say that, he yells out, 'This is my house!' I said 'Joey, you are in my prayers. I'm consoling you.'
"You don't want to see a player go down like that. So then he says, 'I don't care. I don't care. It's my house.' Natural instincts take over from there."
Porter's version: He was talking to Ravens' assistant coach Bennie Thompson when he noticed Lewis imitating his leg kick and saying, 'This is my house.' "
After a big tackle, Porter often kicks his leg as though he's booting something out of his way.
"I lost all respect for him," Porter said.
Porter maintains the well wishes that Lewis claims he offered came only after the insult.
"I'll take all the prayers I can get if I thought he meant it," Porter said. "But I don't think he meant it. You come out there and you do 'the boot' and then you say, 'Oh, yeah, you're in my prayers.' That does no good."
Said Lewis: "People have been kicking sand for years. He never started that. He just brought it back up.
"He's young. He's been to what, one Pro Bowl, and he knows it all now? I love Joey Porter. Do what you do, get healthy, you are always going to stay in my prayers. But what are you challenging me for?
"Why would I argue with Joey Porter? He's done nothing in this league."
O. Brown in rotation
The Ravens' Orlando Brown did not like the thought of rotating at right tackle heading into yesterday's game, and disliked it even more after it happened.
Ethan Brooks started the game but Brown took over in the second quarter and played the rest of the half.
Brooks came back in the second half.
"I don't like that, but I see what Coach is telling me," Brown said. "I hadn't played in three years, so I need to get more in game shape and game tempo. They don't want to throw me out there and get me hurt. Whatever they want me to do, that's what I'll do."
Suggs on the board
After getting shut out in the preseason, rookie linebacker Terrell Suggs wasted no time registering his first sack.
On a third-and-six from the Ravens' 6-yard line on the Steelers' second possession, Suggs beat the Steelers' right tackle and brought down Tommy Maddox for a 7-yard loss.
The play held the Steelers to a field goal and a 6-0 lead.
"You've got to take some positive out of every negative," Suggs said. "That was my first one, but the bigger statement I'm thinking about is the loss and what I could have done more to help my team win."
J. Lewis is non-factor
As is the case most of the time when the Ravens lose, Jamal Lewis was not much of a factor.
Lewis rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries and a 14-yard touchdown. While he averaged 4.6 yards a carry, the Ravens could not muster enough of a passing threat in the first half, with Kyle Boller completing eight passes for 54 yards, to augment Lewis.
Lewis had just six attempts in the second half with the Ravens down by double digits throughout.
Pressure on the QB
Without Porter, their sack and emotional leader, the Steelers still sacked Boller twice, forced an interception under pressure and hit him a half dozen other times.
In fact, Boller was sacked by Porter's replacement, Clark Haggans, on the second-to-last play of the game for a 3-yard loss.
"They had a pretty good pass rush," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "Haggans stepped in for them and played very well."
Breakdown on third downs
The Steelers converted seven of 15 third-down plays, a much higher percentage (47) than the Ravens want to allow this season.
"I'd have to look at the film and see where the breakdowns were," Billick said. "If we plan on beating them, we are going to have to figure out how we can match up on third down and do a better job."
Catching up to Swann
Hines Ward passed Lynn Swann for third place on the Steelers' all-time receiving list. Ward, starting his sixth NFL season, has 339 career receptions.
"Everybody knows Lynn Swann and all the great things he did," said Ward, 27. "To be so young and to already pass him ... words can't describe it. It's amazing. It seems like yesterday that I got here and I was a special teams guy. Now I'm working my way up and I'm third on the all-time Steelers list."
Tom Knight (hamstring), Alvin Porter (hamstring), Musa Smith (knee), Ovie Mughelli, Aubrayo Franklin, Damion Cook, Frank Sanders and Anthony Wright were the Ravens' inactive players. ... Cornerback Corey Fuller strained his left quadriceps muscle late in the second quarter and did not return. He was the only Raven to suffer an injury, and his status for Sunday's game against Cleveland is unknown.
Ray Fittipaldo and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
Next for Ravens
Matchup:Ravens (0-1) vs Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Site:M&T; Bank Stadium
When:Sunday, 1 p.m.
TV/Radio:Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)
Line:Ravens by 2 1/2
Series:Ravens lead 5-3
Last meeting:Browns won, 14-13, on Dec. 22, 2002, in Baltimore