Ray Lewis preparing for a different Jets offense

In the film he has seen of the 2011 Jets, linebacker Ray Lewis has noticed a change from years past, as the team has passed (120 pass plays) more than it has run (73 run plays).

"That’s probably the biggest identity you do see," Lewis said on a conference call from Baltimore. "When you watch film that Mark Sanchez is throwing the ball way more than those running backs are touching it. Even when the running backs are touching it, they're touching it more from the backfield out of pass sets and different things like that. It's definitely a change-up from what you saw the last couple years, which was run, run, run, run, run."

The Jets and Ravens have played each other twice (once in the preseason and once in the regular season) since coach Rex Ryan left his post as Baltimore defensive coordinator. When Ryan came up to New Jersey, both Lewis and Bart Scott were free agents, but it was Scott whom the Jets visited at home when free agency opened.

Lewis said he doesn't think much about that crossroads.

"His decision was to take Bart with him, start fresh, whatever he wanted to start in NY," Lewis said. "It’s not like we didn’t have real conversation with each other, like real conversation. Years ago, he used to tell me that Baltimore will always be where I always end up at, bottom line. When that opportunity came for him, I was more happy for him that he got the job than anything else."

Lewis, who has played his entire career in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl there, said Ryan understood that is where the player's legacy is.
"I don’t know what could have ever pulled me away from here," Lewis said. "That would have to be something so incredible to pull me away from here, to leave this city and everything I already built here. For a coach, it’s kind of different because they can travel different places and start over in new territories. For players, I think it’s totally different when you're trying to leave the legacy that I'm truly taking."

Lewis saw another of his veteran teammates, Derrick Mason, depart Baltimore for the Jets this year. Mason was cut when the lockout ended to save the Ravens salary cap space and signed with the Jets two weeks later.

"You talk about a veteran presence from the receiver position, a guy that had been consistent for so many years, year in and year out," Lewis said of Mason. "When you leave Baltimore, you leave that open. As you saw last week, we started a couple of rookie receivers and things like that. That’s the transition of the business. 'Mase' is always a heck of a teammate, someone you know you can rely on. But now he is on the other side, so now we've got to get ready to defend him."

Mason fielded offers from the Jets, Ravens and Titans after being originally cut from Baltimore.

"The original issue was a salary cap move," coach John Harbaugh said. "We had to do that with four veteran players, right at training camp we decided to do it. We really had no choice cap-wise. As it worked out, a couple weeks later we had an opportunity to possibly bring him back, but he decided to go with the Jets."

Click here to order Ray Lewis’ proCane Rookie Card.

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