J. Michael joins ProFootballTalk to break down Ravens-Colts
Now that the Ravens have had time to let their emotions subside after Ray Lewis’ declaration of retirement, life appears back to normal.
Lewis chided rookie safety Omar Brown for consuming sugar-filled drinks and the need to take better care of his body, a precaution that has allowed him to play for 17 seasons.
Music blared. Smiles were evident, even from Lewis.
The Ravens (10-6) are going into Sunday’s wild card game vs. the Indianapolis Colts (11-5) with a clearer focus on football and less on the emotions of the moment.
“For the veteran guys it won’t be (a problem). I think that’s where experience comes into play and being in the playoffs for five straight seasons,” said defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who's in his third season in Baltimore as a defensive coach after six seasons with the New England Patriots and two Super Bowl appearances. “One thing I learned about when you went to a Super Bowl was I was told to not let the emotions of the game wear you out in the first five minutes because everybody is so hyped up.
"What you have to do is you have to find a level and you have to play at that level. Don’t go out and go crazy for the first five minutes and everybody is jumping up and down and 10 minutes into it, everybody is gassed or hyperventilating.”
Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell could get emotional for a different reason. He spent 10 seasons with the Colts, the last three at the helm, but was fired last season.
He's certain that won't happen. He has been in this situation before.
“I went to the University of Iowa, and I was at Northwestern, and we played against my alma mater,” Caldwell said of his college career. “At that point of time, all I was concentrated on was doing my job and trying to get a victory. There will be no different in this game.”