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Ex-Raven Trevor Pryce: Ray Lewis played poorly in Super Bowl, was too nervous

Whether you like Ray Lewis or not, there is no denying he is one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play in the NFL. His career numbers and accomplishments speak for themselves. Lewis has been to 13 Pro Bowls and has won two Super Bowls. When the Baltimore Ravens won it all in 2001, he was named Super Bowl MVP.

With all that in mind, you would assume there is no way the 17-year veteran was any more nervous than the average player heading into Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers. Former Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce says that would be a poor assumption.

“I think he played with a case of the nerves,” Pryce told Jim Rome on Monday. “I think he had the yips. I really do.”

Pryce, who played four seasons alongside Lewis, said he has never seen anything like that from the future Hall of Famer. He also said he believes the emotions of the game became too much for Lewis to handle.

“He had it bad; he didn’t look like himself, even his new self,” Pryce said. “Forget his old self, that guy’s gone, that guy’s named Patrick Willis. But even the guy he was last week, he wasn’t that guy.  He had a case of it bad, badly. It was almost like he was just hoping let’s get this over with.

“Half of his playoff check should go to Dannell Ellerbe for making that last play on that last fade route. The other half to Greg Roman, the 49ers offensive coordinator.”

Lewis recorded only four total tackles in the Super Bowl, so it was certainly his least productive game of the postseason from a stats standpoint. That being said, I find it hard to believe that he would have been as nervous as Pryce insists he was. He got beat on a couple of plays, but that’s what happens when you’re 37 years old playing against guys in their prime. Maybe the whole deer antler spray fiasco rattled him more than we thought. Whatever the case, he’s still a two-time Super Bowl champion who gets to go out on top.

Audio of Pryce’s interview can be heard here.

H/T Game On!
Photo credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Trevor Pryce calls Amani Toomer’s comments about Kurt Warner ‘idiotic’

Kurt Warner recently said he would not want his sons playing football because of the health risks involved, and we don’t blame him. As a parent, Warner has a right to express his opinion and choose what he thinks is best for the safety of his children — regardless of his job title. However, his opinion has been met with more than a little opposition. Amani Toomer blasted him for “trashing” the game and Merril Hoge said the comments made Warner sound uneducated. Two-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowler Trevor Pryce strongly disagrees.

“What Amani Toomer said is probably the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard,” Pryce said on ROME according to Eye on Football. “And here’s why: the fact that Kurt Warner said he didn’t want his kids playing football should be predicated on one thing — he didn’t want his kids playing NFL football. And that’s a big difference. Little league football? Every kid wants to play little league football.

“But there’s more than one way to play football. You can play flag football, you can play Madden, you can do a lot of things. I think you have to quantify it by saying NFL football is dangerous — more so than middle school football, high school football or even college football. But that adds up. By the time you get to the NFL you’re probably damaged goods.”

Again, I don’t think there’s any debating the physical risks the sport of football poses when compared to something like, say, basketball. Ankle injuries and knee injuries are certainly common in basketball, but head injuries that would stay with you for life are far less likely. It’s one thing to disagree with Warner’s comments in general, but it’s another to do so because you believe his job as an NFL Network analyst is to be a puppet. Toomer and Hoge sound like idiots because of the reasons they gave for their stance.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE