NEW ORLEANS -- A lot of words have been used to describe Ray Lewis in the last two weeks. "Quiet" hasn't been one of them.
"He's more quiet. Not that he's ever very loud around us at all," Pees said Tuesday. "I've gotten really close to Ray. I can see that it's going to be a tough time. It's hard to hang it up. ... I've been around Junior Seau at the end of his career and Tedy Bruschi at the end of his career. It's tough. ... I can sense it's going to be an emotional time."
Around the League asked Lewis about the comments Wednesday. Lewis smiled and recognized how perceptive Pees was about his so-called quietness, but he offered a different explanation.
"As a leader, I've been able to sit back, and I've been able to watch my teammates," Lewis said. "My quietness as a leader is to make sure I sit back and make sure everything is in the proper order. I've been quiet for a lot of different reasons. I've just been sitting back, knowing I just got to fix this, fix that and carry my teammates through the right way on how we should approach this game," Lewis said.
"It's just focus," Suggs explained. "He's focused. He really wants to get this done. ... He's definitely spent a lot of time with himself. We know exactly what he's doing and what he's going through. All of our NFL careers are going to rise and set like the sun. Come Feb. 3, the sun will set on Ray Lewis' career."
Pees says he sees a completely different Lewis than the bombastic figure who emerges on game days. Lewis is a focused note taker.
And this week, more than others, Lewis is quiet.