Lewis on using banned substance: 'Nawwww, never'

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Lewis on using banned substance: 'Nawwww, never'

NEW ORLEANS -- When a team doctor told Ray Lewis in October that his season was over because of a torn triceps, the linebacker bristled.

Told no player had ever returned from the injury in the same season, Lewis responded, "Well, you know nobody's ever been Ray Lewis, either.' "

Lewis stated this matter-of-factly during the Super Bowl XLVII Media Day Tuesday, ascribing his unprecedented comeback to the dint of hard work, faith and perseverance.

Meanwhile, a Sports Illustrated story that surfaced on Tuesday alleges Lewis had a lot more help than that:

Hours after he tore his triceps during an Oct. 14 home game against the Cowboys, Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and (Mitch) Ross connected on the phone. Again, Ross videotaped the call."It's bottom, near the elbow," Lewis said of the tear. After asking a few pseudo diagnostic questions, Ross concluded, "All right, well this is going to be simple. . . . How many pain chips you got around the house?""I got plenty of them," Lewis replied.Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will "rebuild your brain via your small intestines" (and which Lewis said he hadn't been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours."Spray on my elbow every two hours?" Lewis asked."No," Ross said, "under your tongue."Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to "just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week."The deer antler extract, according to the article, contains a banned substance called IGF-1.

There were a number of questions posed to Lewis about the article on Tuesday. He dismissed them all.

In one response, Lewis said, "It's a two-year-old story that you want me to refresh. I wouldn't give him the credit to either mention his name or his antics in my speeches or my moment. I can't do it. I've been in this business 17 years and nobody has got up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test I ever took in the NFL, there's never been a question if I've ever even thought about using anything. So to even entertain stupidity like that, tell him to go try get his story somewhere else."

When I asked Lewis directly if he used deer antler extract to recover from his triceps injury this season, Lewis answered, "Nawwww, never."

With memories of Lance Armstrong coming clean after years denying he used PEDs, Lewis' boasting of making an unprecedented comeback from an injury suffered less than three months before making a return invites cynicism.

He's brazen about it. Given what we've learned about athletes' commitment to denying PED use until they're forced to give up the goods, it's not unusual either.

Lewis is reveling in the glory and attention he's being showered with this week as he heads toward his final NFL game. The use of the phrase "my speeches or my moment" is indicative of how he views his last turn on the big stage as a player.

Lewis seems to believe folks will suspend disbelief. The inertia of his story will carry the day.

You felt it when he recounted his meeting with the Ravens' doctor.

"I said, 'Doc, you sure?' I said, 'Nahhh. Doc, there's no way I'm gonna be out for the year with just a torn tricep,' " Lewis recalled. "I said, 'I've been through way worse.' He was like, 'Ray, nobody's ever came back from this.' I said, 'Well, you know, nobody's ever been Ray Lewis either.' I kinda made up my mind, as soon as I head that news I called Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome the next day and I said, 'Oz, don't put me on (injured reserve).' He said, 'What's on your mind?' I said, 'I'll be back.'

And back he has come. How?

"I take all lows and I took them to a positive very quickly," he explained. "I took what was supposed to be a career ending thing if you listen to certain writers and things and I took it and I used it as my motivation."

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

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Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

The Patriots and Darrelle Revis have not discussed a deal that would bring the cornerback back to New England, according to CSNNE's Tom Curran.

This comes after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported multiple anonymous NFL executives were convinced Revis would return to the Patriots.

Revis spent one season with the Patriots in 2014 when New England won Super Bowl XLIX. However, the Patriots did not pick up Revis' second-year option in the following offseason, and he elected to sign with the New York Jets in free agency. He played 14 games in 2015 and 15 games in 2016. He finished last season with 53 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception

The 31-year-old cornerback declined significantly during the 2016 season. Even Tom Brady said he noticed Revis was struggling phyiscally in the Patriots' Week 12 win over the Jets.

"I know he's not feeling great," Brady said in November. "I could see after the game, he winced a few times getting up. It looked like his leg was bothering him a little bit. But he's still very close on a lot of those plays. Even though you're hitting them, he's still very competitive.

"He's been one of the great players in the league for a long time. He's given up more plays this year than in the past, but you've gotta have a lot of respect for his style and his game."