Ray Lewis says he's still fighting to be a starter

On the eve of his 17th training camp with the Ravens, inside linebacker Ray Lewis said camp never gets old or boring for him.

In fact, the 12-time Pro Bowler and certain Hall of Famer said he still feels like a rookie trying to carve out a niche for himself on the starting defense.

“It can’t get old because I’m fighting for a starting job,” Lewis said Monday evening during an appearance at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore where he announced a partnership between the United Athletes Foundation and accounting firm Baker Tilly. “I’ve been fighting my whole life. That’s what people don’t realize. I don’t think I’ve ever come in and said, ‘Oh, I’ve got a good day.’ I don’t. And that’s why every year is a new year for me. It’s a new opportunity.”

If Lewis, 37, is a pillar of the Ravens defense, free safety Ed Reed is just as significant. In recent weeks, Reed seemed to hint that he was reconsidering whether he would return to the Ravens this season before telling Comcast SportsNet, “I always planned on playing this year,” and working out at the team’s complex in Owings Mills last Thursday.

Reed’s actions appeared to prove Lewis’ belief during last month’s minicamp – one that Reed skipped without informing coach John Harbaugh – that Reed would return to the team.

Asked how he knew a month ago that Reed would come back, Lewis said with a laugh, “We talk. It ain’t hard. Not when you know my boy.”

Running back Ray Rice figures to be at camp after agreeing to a five-year, $40 million extension a week ago, and Lewis said he was happy for his teammate.
“Awesome,” Lewis said. “I think it was awesome for him to get that deal done.”

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