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Ravens starting free safety Kendrick Lewis making smooth transition to new team

Backpedaling into coverage, Ravens free safety Kendrick Lewis adeptly recognized the post pattern.

Then, Lewis planted his feet and bolted into the passing lane to break up a Joe Flacco pass during an organized team activity practice.

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Since signing a three-year, $5.4 million contract this offseason, Lewis has made a smooth transition to his new team. He's taken over the starting job and a leadership role mentoring younger players and has quickly absorbed the defensive playbook.

The Ravens are banking on Lewis' range, experience and tackling to solidify the position.

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"Kendrick Lewis is doing a great job," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He doesn't say much. In terms of walking around the building, he just puts his nose to the grindstone and goes to work.

"I see him in the weight room, I see him in the meeting room, I see him on the field just working like crazy. Very smart player, really gets the game and communicates really well back there, so he has looked very good."

Lewis, 26, started every game at free safety for the Houston Texans last season and led them with 84 tackles to go along with two interceptions. The previous year with the Kansas City Chiefs he started all but one game and had 61 tackles and one interception.

Lewis' deal with the Ravens includes a $1.4 million signing bonus, but his salary-cap figure for 2015 is just $1.26 million.

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"When you see Baltimore Ravens, you see the philosophy," Lewis said when he signed with the Ravens. "You see that their team is made up on defense and me being a defensive guy, me being a safety, that's what I wanted to be a part of."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsidera

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