Friday, September 25, 2009

Ray Lewis - Way Past Good

Say it's 4th down with two yards to go for the home team with under a minute to play. You play middle linebacker for the team holding a five-point lead, and you're pretty good at what you do -- you're a professional at it, after all -- so when the play starts, you see that the left guard is pulling to his right and that other blockers are flowing that same direction. If you're really good, you'll keep your shoulder pads parallel with the line of scrimmage and flow in the same direction as the play, keep separation from or otherwise defeat any blocker who tries to impede you, and take a pursuit angle to collide with the ball carrier on his side of the imaginary first down marker. You don't want to have to make a solo tackle, that your teammates will be there to absorb other blockers and assist with the stop, but you're good at what you do, so you can handle that.

You see all of this because you're good at what you do, and you're sure you're going to assist in a game-saving play.

If you're linebacker Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, you're far better than good -- you're phenomenally, preternaturally, sublimely good. You recognize the play so quickly that you almost beat the ball carrier to the hand-off; and you take him down, end the play, and finish the game so rapidly and efficiently that all the world may justifiably wonder if you can somehow control time.

And you manage to make all of the above look easy:

Seriously, can Ray Lewis control time?

1 comment:

rakeback said...

Ray Lewis even after double digit seasons in the league remains one of the best linebackers and most intimidating presences in the NFL. Ray and Ed Reed make up the best 1-2 combo in the league.