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Ray Lewis says Ed Reed's comments 'not an issue'

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  January 18, 2012 02:13 PM

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Ravens leader Ray Lewis said safety Ed Reed's critical comments about quarterback Joe Flacco were "not an issue"

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ed Reed voiced his critical opinion of Joe Flacco's performance last Sunday against the Texans, and Ravens leader Ray Lewis today voiced the general opinion of the locker room, which was that Reed's comments were a non-issue.

With the Ravens set to face the Patriots for the AFC Championship in four days, Lewis did everything to ensure that comments Reed made on a Sirius satellite radio show that Flacco looked rattled in the Ravens' 20-13 win wouldn't take on a life of their own.

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Despite constant criticism, Ray Lewis calls Joe Flacco a winner.


"It’s not an issue," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "I haven’t heard what he said, but it’s not an issue. The only issue we have as a team is going up and trying to get a win in Foxborough. Anything else that anyone else wants to bring up is irrelevant at this time and every single person in our locker room is thinking the same way."

Flacco threw two touchdown passes in the win, capitalizing on two early turnovers, but after the first quarter the Ravens offense largely stalled. That said, this is the fourth time Flacco's been to the playoffs in his four-year career and this will be the second time he's gone to the AFC Championship. He's the first quarterback since the 1970 merger to take his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. He is the Ravens' franchise leader in completions (1,190), attempts (1,958), yards (13,816), touchdowns (80), and passer rating (86.0).

"I'm more shocked just of how people can speak about someone who's just a flat out winner," Lewis said. "There's no one side to anything. There's no one player that makes no team great. It takes a team effort. And for what Joe's came in here and done for us, I told people from Day 1, when I first saw that kid throw the football, I said that kid is special. And you watch all of these guys who went in the top picks, No. 1 picks that's not even in football anymore. But you're talking about a guy that's been in this league and has been in the playoffs all four years and has given his team an opportunity to win games.

Flacco threw 20 touchdowns and 12 picks this season in an up and down season.

"Joe doesn't play defense. So when we gave up touchdowns on defense, that wasn't Joe's fault. When people beat us on defense or schemed up something against us, that wasn't Joe's fault. The time that Pittsburgh scrambled and made a big play against us, that wasn't Joe's fault. So a lot of things that people try to put on the quarterback, I understand that, but it ain't about our quarterback. It's about the Baltimore Ravens and we're a complete team. We go into games, we win as a team, we lose as a team."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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