Belichick not getting sentimental on Lewis quite yet

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Belichick not getting sentimental on Lewis quite yet

Next stop on the Ray Lewis Farewell Tour: New England.
The Ravens linebacker, veteran of 17 NFL seasons, announced January 1 that this year would be his last in football. The declaration came just days after Lewis was activated off short-term injured reserve. A torn triceps against Dallas in October kept him off the field for weeks, but the designation to return made it clear he would be there for his team in the playoffs.
Lewis made his comeback. Now, his impending retirement only fuels the emotional fire of Baltimore's postseason run.
What does that mean for the Patriots? Head coach Bill Belichick kept his comments low key on his Tuesday conference call."Ray's an instinctive player, always has been," Belichick said. "Very good in the running game, play-action, screen passes, things like that. Does a good job with the underneath combination of patterns. He certainly controls the defense in terms of checks and adjustments, that kind of thing."
Belichick has no problem complimenting a talented players on any team. But he's not about to sentimentally eulogize an opponent who wants to see his team burn in the AFC Championship.
Is Lewis headed for the Hall of Fame? Sure. But this week he's part of a Ravens defense that Belichick needs to break down.
"Schematically, I'd say they're pretty similar," the coach noted. "They kind of have their package of stuff they're pretty good at and they did that when he's been in there and when he hasn't.
"But he certainly adds a lot. I'm sure that they're glad that he's back in there for a variety of reasons: Plays, leadership, being able to quarterback the defense. He's done a good job for them since he's come back in there."

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.