January 5, 2013
Last hurrah for the Baltimore Ravens?Ray Lewis going, Ed Reed and Matt Birk could be gone so it's time to step it up
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
BALTIMORE - It’s going to be all Ray Lewis, all the time for as long as the Baltimore Ravens are still in the Super Bowl hunt. That pursuit could end Sunday, or it could go on for another month.
That’s what you get when an iconic player announces his imminent retirement after 17 stellar seasons as one of the best defenders the National Football League has ever known. You get an emotional rallying point.
Thing is, Lewis isn’t the only future Hall of Famer the Ravens might be saying sayonara to when this playoff season is over. Don’t forget about Ed Reed, who could be playing his last home game for the Ravens Sunday after 11 spectacular seasons in Lewis’ shadow.
And what about Matt Birk, for the past 15 years a fixture at centre on the offensive line? He’s under contract through the 2014 season, but, at 36 and owning the longest active consecutive games streak among NFL centres (112 games), when he heads into retirement, he too will be a mighty loss.