RAVENS LB RAY LEWIS, JAN. 6, 2009
(On his best memories of the 2000 playoff game against the Titans)
I don't know. It's kind of funny, they were just asking me that here. I don't know because there are just so many. I only gave them that to try to [get them to] understand the rivalry, of what the playoffs feels like, how big the game will be at Adelphia Coliseum [LP Field] and all that good stuff. That was kind of how quick I gave it to him and quickly took it away from him because I was like, 'That was then, this is now.' For us, if we can understand that mentality and really just go into it with that mindset then we can leave that where it is and move on and focus on this game coming up this week.
(On the ability to quiet the home stadium with an early big play)
Well, yeah. When you play there, and trust me with as many times I've played there, it's a very hostile environment. I think our job is just to come in and just be who we are and just play the game the way we know how to play the game because the crowd is going to be rowdy. It's freakin' incredible up there. Tennessee's playing at a very, very high level. The bottom line is we just have to make sure we don't keep the crowd in the game by making huge penalties or huge mistakes and things like that.
(On if the Titans have maintained the same identity over the years)
It's a totally different team. Totally different team, totally different players. You have a couple players that might [still be around]. The only thing that's really consistent there is Jeff Fisher and things like that. But you have a totally different identity coming from the Vince Young era and going through that and then coming with this run game with LenDale White and Chris Johnson and now going with Kerry Collins. I think the identity of who they are is totally different.
(On playing against Kevin Mawae)
He's probably one of the smartest offensive linemen in the game. He plays the game at a very high level, he plays the game with great energy, great focus and he's the captain up there. He keeps those guys in line and that's probably one of the biggest reasons why they have that running game being so successful.
(On if it will be tough for the Titans if they're without Mawae)
Yeah, absolutely. I think it would. I'm not inside but if I was a betting man and I'm looking from the outside in, man, Kevin Mawae is definitely one of those people that I would definitely say would be a great teammate.
(On his memories of Kerry Collins from the Super Bowl and if they think they can pressure him this week)
Yeah, I haven't gone back that far to worry about the Super Bowl because it's two totally different personalities coming in. We're a totally different defense, they're a totally different offense and he's with a totally different team. The bottom line for us is just to come in and play the way we play for 60 minutes. Defensively, just to get out and make sure these guys don't establish their run, because they have, to me, a great one-two punch in LenDale [White] and Chris Johnson. So the bottom line for us is just to go try to slow their offense down and not let them get revved up and do the things they want to do.
(On how he thinks Cortland Finnegan would fit in with the Ravens defense)
Oh, I couldn't even answer that. I've barely watched him play and I don't even know him personally. That's number 31 right? He made the Pro Bowl. Of course, I know of him but I haven't watched him play like that so I couldn't even categorize that.
(On if he thinks a huge special teams play could make the difference this weekend)
I think both teams kind of know what they're going to get in a game like this. We've been doing this for years now, years, years, years. And it's just going to come down to, when you have balance on offense, special teams and defense on both sides of the ball, sometimes that's what it comes down to. In that game it came down to a special teams play. In other games it might come down to an offensive play or a defensive play. If you've been inside, to know what's been going on with this rivalry, you'll kind of know it's going to wind up like that one way or another.
(On if you have to hit Kerry Collins to force him to make mistakes)
Well, first of all I don't think you should let a quarterback just sit in the pocket. Any quarterback of any type of ability, [especially not] a 14-year vet like Kerry Collins. If you let him sit in the pocket he can make every throw in the game. So he's going to make the throws and the bottom line is we don't want to just let him get comfortable sitting back there.
(On if the Tennessee fan base having a dislike for him because of his role in the 2000 playoff game is a sign that he's been an effective player)
Well, you don't ever want to be disliked that much. But once you do go do things like that, I'm not liked in a couple of places because of that, but it's just the way it is. If I don't do it somebody else will, bottom line. And that's just something that I'll move on about and not worry about what they say. I come in with my teammates. My teammates' and my fans' opinion is really the only thing that matters to me.
(On if he finds new motivation to play as his career goes on)
The thing that you start grabbing onto as your career starts getting older, as you start getting more mature in the game, is you start learning how wisdom starts taking over to [the point where] you can be just dominant, dominant, dominant but it's still that same thing. It's still that same thing, it's competition. It's just somebody challenging your will, your manhood. [They'll] say, 'I'm better than you in this or I can block you or I can run over you' or whatever it is. So that challenge, if you're trying to do anything in this business or even if you're trying to do something for you, to be great than you have to always challenge yourself in every aspect of life. For me as a man, to be in the business that I'm in, if someone is going to challenge me, I'm going to make sure that I'm physically prepared to [face] any challenge that anybody brings for me. I look forward to it year in and year out because of all the new faces you always see.
(On if Bo Scaife is a player they have to be aware of on clutch third down situations)
Yes. I think when you look at their offense, they have a lot of guys, [Justin] Gage and a lot of those guys, even Chris Johnson making a lot of plays on those downs. The guy you just spoke about he is one of those guys as well. Kerry Collins plays the game very safe and of course he is a veteran and has been in the game a long time. He plays the game that way. He is finding key people in key third downs.
(On whether the teams mirror each other)
I think we are totally different. Of course they have their thing and we have our thing, bottom line. The challenge is just opportunity. When the opportunity presents itself, you can either run away from it or you can run to it. For us and for me, I have always liked to run towards opportunity.