Ray Lewis says he'd take Rex Ryan over Bill Belichick

Ravens legend Ray Lewis would take Rex Ryan over Bill Belichick any day.

That's what the linebacker said on Monday during a pregame segment on ESPN. If he had his preference, he would roll with the bombastic Bills coach, who led the Ravens' defensive line and was the team's defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2008.

"I'm not choosing nobody else but Rex Ryan," Lewis said, via CSN New England. "If you're asking me Bill Belichick or Rex Ryan, I'm taking Rex Ryan all day because Rex relates to players as well as myself more like a father."

Lewis' statement was and will continue to be met with the confused and clamorous rebuttals of people who have never played in the NFL before. Ryan's approval rating is higher because, like Lewis said, he treats his players like family. Belichick prefers an MO that allows him to make the kind of calculated decisions he's made over the years without much in the way of emotional attachment. I'm sure there is an element of care and compassion with Belichick, but it does not come anywhere close to the relationship Ryan has with his players.

If nothing else, Ryan will come to define the modern Player's Coach. He might never win a Super Bowl, and he might end up proving that his ultimate fault was caring too much.

The timing of Lewis' remarks also feel relevant given what is happening to Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Kelly has taken calculated to a new level and, despite a pair of 10-win seasons, doesn't have the built in equity to pull it off. He craves the Belichick-type structure, but without some type of concession, or a massive winning streak, could we see that type of player-coach relationship replicated successfully? So many people have tried to be Belichick over the past decade. So many owners have tried to hire the next Belichick. Yet, each time the results seem to be more disastrous than the last, highlighted by the Greg Schiano implosion down in Tampa Bay.

It would be interesting to see the results of an honest poll taken around the league. If this question were posed in 2009 or 2010, the answer would not have been close. Ryan would have won in a landslide because his team was winning alongside him.

Now, it would seem to be a choice between competing for a Super Bowl every year, and hanging out with your best friend every day.

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