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Several Questions About Ray Lewis’ Ability

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun writes that there are questions about Ravens LB Ray Lewis‘ ability to be an effective player at this point in his career.

Wilson writes that Lewis is “unable to shed blocks or consistently chase down backs in the open field,” which has resulted in some big games from opposing running backs. Opposing offenses seem to have targeted him as a weak spot in the Ravens defense and Lewis hasn’t responded well to the challenge.

People are getting up on Ray and blocking him,” said Tony Dungy of NBC Sports. “He’s not the same player he was 10 years ago.”

“He had big guys in front of him and he didn’t have to take on a lot of blocks. That’s not his strength. It’s tougher now for him. It’s a young man’s game,” added Dungy. “It’s hard for me to believe it was 2003 and I was coaching him in the Pro Bowl. Is he the same player now as he was at 27? No, but he still brings a lot to the table. I would be surprised if they don’t get this run defense squared away.”

Lewis is currently 37 year’s old, so it makes sense that people would be discussing him ability when things aren’t going well for the Ravens defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated in the bottom half of inside linebackers. There’s no question that the loss of Terrell Suggs has had a big impact on their defense. An improved pass rush would really help guys like Lewis out, but until that improves, Lewis will be targeted by opposing teams.