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Marvin Lewis On Ray Lewis' Decision To Retire After The Season

Marvin Lewis has been close to Ray Lewis since the beginning of his Hall of Fame career. The Bengals head coach weighed in on Lewis' decision on Wednesday.

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Eliot J. Schechter

We all know how close Marvin Lewis and Ray Lewis are. Lewis was hired as the Ravens' defensive coordinator in 1996, the same year the Ravens chose Ray in the first round. The two worked together until Marvin left for Washington in 2002, but have been close ever since.

So close, in fact, that Ray has mentioned that he sees Marvin as a father figure.

"There is no me without a Marvin Lewis. He was the first one who grabbed me at a very young aged and asked me what I wanted to do," Ray Lewis said this week. "He educated me. He educated me not just on how to make plays, but he educated me on the business side of it and understanding how to conduct myself and all these different things. So I've always looked at Marvin as a father figure. So the impact he had on my life was great."

Marvin Lewis recently weighed in on the news that the future Hall of Fame linebacker would be calling it quits after the Ravens season is over.

From The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy:

"He's had a tremendous career, tremendous impact. His mentorship to other players, his leadership is hard to describe. I had a chance to visit with him briefly before (Sunday's) game. I said to myself, ‘He doesn't look a day older than when we drafted him.' ... A decision hard for him to make, but one he feels good about. I'm happy for him. It's disappointing for the game after what he's done."

Bengals secondary coach, Mark Carrier was with the Ravens from '06 to '09, and also had a few things to say about Lewis' outstanding career with the Ravens.

"Gosh, where do I start? As dynamic a person as I've ever been around. Enthusiastic. I loved working with him; would've loved to have played with him. Being around him, if you weren't ready to go and run through a wall for him or with him then you just didn't have any heart. Obviously he's been a great ambassador for the game. Probably will still be somewhere and in some way part of the game. Somebody like that you just always keep contact, you keep in touch with football because he's so good for players."

As for me, a diehard Bengals fan, I know I'll miss watching Ray Lewis command one of the most ferocious defenses in the league. He not only made some of the most ridiculous plays from the middle linebacker position, even after several years in the league, but he had grown into one of the most respectable and well-liked players in the league.

I may not have liked him all the time, mainly because he terrorized my favorite offense, but I can't help but to respect him for what he does. I wish him the best.