If this is true this pisses me off. I wasted one of my two Keepers on Lewis this year. I could really use the old Jamal!!!
From Fox Sports:
McCrary on J. Lewis: Contract is the issue Former Ravens Pro Bowl defensive end Michael McCrary was listening to the call-in talk show on WJFK (1300 AM) Sunday night when he decided enough was enough.
The calls were too disturbing.
There was criticism that running back Jamal Lewis was too slow. They said he was indecisive. Some suggested he had lost it, and that's when McCrary called in to defend his friend and former teammate.
On live radio, McCrary suggested that because the Ravens had broken a promise to Lewis about a contract extension before the start of this season, his last under current terms, the Pro Bowl back wasn't going to give 100 percent and risk injury.
The comments touched off a firestorm on talk radio, which doesn't take much in this town. Despite reports that McCrary was backing off his statements, he was still adamant yesterday but offered some clarity.
Before the start of this season, Lewis said the Ravens told him that if he accepted a plea agreement to serve four months in a Florida federal prison on drug conspiracy charges, it would have no impact on his team status and a new contract before the season started.
There has been no new deal, and Lewis has struggled through the first six games, rushing 113 times for only 326 yards and a touchdown. McCrary said the broken promise, along with the offseason ankle surgery and an ineffective offensive line, were all major factors.
"I watched the game on TV, and I was hyped afterward," said McCrary, a color commentator for the station at Ravens home games. "Then I'm listening to these people call in, and they're bad-mouthing my friend, a former teammate. They were picking on him, and they were wrong.
"I called in and told them the reason Jamal wasn't probably running as well was because the club had broken its promise, that it never came to fruition. Jamal is running at 100 percent, but he doesn't have that killer instinct. He isn't running with the same passion."
This really isn't a news flash, except for those who don't live in the real world of modern sports. It has been out there for everyone to see all season. Lewis may have been slowed by offseason ankle surgery and the rust that followed, but those stalled contract talks are lodged in the back of his head.
Some fans didn't want to believe it earlier in the season, but it's different now because the comments are coming from Mc- Crary. Since the Ravens began business in Baltimore in 1995, McCrary has become one of the team's favorite players.
He was all-out, Mr. Intensity on every play. He played hurt. He was, and still is, extremely active in the community. McCrary signed several multi-million dollar contracts throughout his career. One year in Baltimore, Mc- Crary walked out of training camp for two days because of stalled contract talks.
"Jamal is a warrior, one of the few warriors on the team," Mc- Crary said. "He loves being physical and running over people. He's not even close to being finished. There is still a lot of talent there. You've got to pay your warriors. They have to be able to go out on the field and be completely focused. There can't be any interference because they play at a different level than other players.
"I always played at 100 percent because the Ravens always took care of me. We never talked about money or business during the season. It was time for football. You always want the business behind you before the season starts."
The NFL is all about business first, entertainment second. We're not talking about the 1950s and 1960s when players had to work second jobs such as driving trucks or selling automobiles to make a living. We're talking about millions of dollars per season, TV deals and other endorsements.
A new contract is on Lewis' mind just as it is on the mind of safety Ed Reed, who has one year left after this season on his current contract, and Ray Lewis, who has several more years remaining but has been balking about another contract extension. A running back is more concerned about contracts than other players because the span of their careers is so short.
A new contract is why Reed threatened to hold out of training camp and why Ray Lewis sits alone on the bench during games. They're sending messages.
Money, money, money.
"To me, a man's word is everything. It's bonding," McCrary said. "If [Jamal Lewis] pleaded guilty because they said they would support him, and then turned their back on him, then that puts both parties in a bad situation."
McCrary says other factors have contributed to Lewis' slow start. He says there still might be an ankle problem and admits that the holes aren't there like they were in previous years, especially in 2003 when Lewis ran for a league-high 2,066 yards.
That's an understatement. Just look at the tape from the Ravens' 10-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. There were plenty of times when the Bears had already penetrated the Ravens' backfield just as Lewis was getting the ball. There were times when he had to change directions quickly just to find a glimmer of room to run. Lewis finished with only 34 yards on 15 carries.
His backup, Chester Taylor, had 21 yards on two carries. There is still a debate among fans about who should get the most carries. Is it Lewis, the power runner, or Taylor, the all-purpose back?
No one can be more frustrated than Lewis. This is a big year for him before possibly hitting the free-agent market. McCrary didn't endorse either running back yesterday. He really doesn't care. All he heard Sunday night were callers criticizing his former teammate and friend, a player who wasn't there to defend himself.
McCrary just wanted to tell Lewis' story, only through the eyes of a former warrior.
It sounds like McCrary thinks he's helping Lewis, but he's not. Basically he's saying Lewis is intentionally playing poorly because of the broken promise - that's even worse. If Lewis is unhappy he should play hard so he can find a better situation, nobody is going to offer top money to a pouting under-achiever.
I'm hoping it has more to do with Jamal spending time in The House instead of rehabbing his ankle, but I'm worried that's not the case. He's one of my two keepers, so I was banking on him having a good year. Without him I'm still winning, but with Jamal as the old Jamal I'd be tearing my league up.
Its just stupid how people buy into this idiodicy. The media puts somethign really stupid like this out there coming from an idiot like Mcrary who has no idea what Jamal is thinking but says that out of anger for his buddy being criticized for getting stuffed every week and the local media all over him for it. Mcrary needs to STFU and stop acting like he can read other peoples minds, hes only making things worse for Jamal basically saying Jamal isnt trying. Trust me Jamal has been trying, hes not getting the holes hes gotten in the past and hes too big to slip through like Taylor can. I'm local to all this, Ravens are my team and listen to sports radio half the day and watch every game every week, it kills me to hear this exxagerated nonsense. I cant believe how ignorant people are and will just follow the media BS.
Truth is Taylor is a better back right now than Jamal is. Jamal can break a tackle or a few tackles here and there but hes not quick enough to get by LB's and has to take them on, unlike Taylor. The Ravens should be using Taylor more, with Jamal being the change of pace back. They wont because the clout Jamal has in Baltimore and hes more of a leader, but if you watched these games you'd know how absurd and stupid the stuff Mcrary is saying.
Jamals hype is more than hes worth at this point. Hes a great back but he'd work much better if he wasnt so featured as the man. When you constantly see him trying to stutter step at the line and getting stuffed after breaking a tackle or two, while Taylor is busting off 30 yd runs every once in a while when he gets his chances, its obvious who they should be playing more. Too bad big names and big contracts get more opportunities or the coach and organization risk upsetting his ego as the man.
ps i dont have Taylor or Jamal in my fantasy league.
knapplc wrote:I don't know the figures, but I'd assume that another reason they play Jamal more is they're paying him more, and the uproar over not playing your highest paid player wouldn't be worth it.
Exactly but thats a big part of the problem. Ravens have so many issues right now its just depressing. I blame Billick for a lot of them, he should never have been so complacent with such a sad offense and horrible QB for so many years. Now that the Def isnt the greatest ever anymore, their horrible.