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Purple Reign 2: Chapter 11 “Fall forward and the story of Torrey Smith”

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Reed was like a proud parent. “Cary Williams has been here for 3 years, and I know the work he’s been putting in,” he said. “He’s been screaming for the opportunity. He’s stayed humble and worked through the process. We always say, ‘Stay humble and your time will come’ and surely he’s walked into it the way he’s supposed to do. That’s a blessing. I know how much he wants to be one of the best. Watching those guys grow up to be men in the way they prepare. That’s what you want to be around.”

The Ravens were 3-1 at the quarter pole, and Harbaugh was just glad there was time for his players to finally get some rest. They would have 10 days off before they’d see the Chiefs in Kansas City. “I’m really proud of our coaches and our players for what they accomplished in the last 18 days,” he said about the torrid pace to the beginning of the season. “ To me, what we did in training camp and what we’ve done through the first four weeks of the season, it was a grind. It was three primetime games, which are high-intensity games. You have to bounce back. You don’t get much rest. You had to bounce back in short weeks twice. Our guys deserve a lot of credit for it.”

Because the win over the Browns was on NFL Network, the entire crew was on the field with a giant postgame set in the rain after the game. A few hundred Ravens fans stayed behind in ponchos to scream for the cameras as Ray Lewis came onto the set to be interviewed by Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, and Michael Irvin.

Of course, in his 17th season, and sitting next to some good friends, the questions began about any pending retirement plans for No. 52.

Lewis had a stock answer. “That would be disrespectful to my teammates,” he said. “I promise you that when I wake up and I’m tired of working, then I’ll go be a daddy. But I can’t cheat the love of the game. And once I’m gone you’ll never have to worry about me doing a pitty pat, worrying about me coming back, and all of that. When I’m gone, I’m gone. I promise you that.”

Meanwhile, the throng of Ravens fans took to chanting at Lewis, in an election year no less: “Four more years! Four more years!”

Lewis saluted them: “I’m so proud I stayed here my entire career. No matter what, these people love me!”

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