Ravens’ defenders split All-Pro vote

By Darrell Laurant  |   Thursday, December 21, 2006  |  Comments( 0 )

Baltimore Ravens
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Too many linebackers, too little room.

As soon as the lineups for this year's Pro Bowl were announced, Ray Lewis started getting phone calls from reporters asking for a comment. As usual, he didn't leave them empty-handed.

But it wasn't his own exclusion from the team that Lewis was complaining about, but that of teammates Bart Scott and Trevor Pryce.

"Now it's gotten kind of crazy," he said, "because the league is so young. These guys don't know who to vote for no more."

Two Ravens linebackers -- Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs -- did make the squad, although Suggs was named as a defensive end (a position he also plays in the Ravens' swarming, attacking defense).

Immediately, a mutual admiration society broke out among the Baltimore defenders.

"We were 6-10 without Ray last year," said Suggs in support of Lewis, "and this year he's played all but two games, and we're 11-3."

"I told Bart, 'You can be hurt because you got robbed, but if that's on your mind, Miami (the next Super Bowl site) isn't on your mind. If you're frustrated, take it out on the field.'"

DE Pryce said his wife was more upset about being left off the team than he was.

"I'm running for President in 2008," Pryce quipped to reporters.

The numbers show how difficult the Ravens made it for Pro Bowl voters (the votes of fans, players and coaches are given equal weight).

Scott could certainly make a good case for inclusion, leading the team in tackles with 92, picking off two passes and ringing up 9½ sacks.

But Lewis, despite missing those two games, had 91 tackles, two interceptions and 3½ sacks. Thomas' numbers included 76 tackles and 10½ sacks, while Suggs had 58 tackles, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries. Finally, Pryce had 44 tackles and 12 sacks.

"I've never looked for other people to tell me whether I'm good or not," Lewis said. "I know what I can do."

Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
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