Wade Phillips on Ray Lewis' retirement
While the Texans were busy on Wednesday, preparing for a wild card matchup against the Bengals, they took some time to answer questions about an all-time great.
On Wednesday, longtime linebacker and 13-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis announced his retirement.
“He’s one of the all-time best," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. "Great player but also a great leader. That’s obvious. And that’s hard to do. There’s a lot of guys that have been in this league that have been great players, but not all of them have been great leaders, and he’s certainly both of those.”
Before this season, the Texans had never beaten the Ravens. They were 0-6. This year, they crushed the Ravens at home 43-13. But Lewis was out with an injury.
Andre Johnson has a special connection with Lewis. Although the latter was long gone by the time Johnson arrived, the two played at the University of Miami.
“He’s probably one of the best to ever play," Johnson said. "I knew eventually it was coming, but you just never know when. But deep down, I thought that this year would probably be his last year.
"And I think the injury is probably what came down to be the final decision for him wanting to leave. Seventeen years – what he’s done over the past 17 years and the level he has done it at, I don’t think words can really describe it.”
Johnson said at some point he'll reach out to Lewis and talk to him about his decision. Johnson said Lewis was the type of guy many from the NFL went to for advice.
Johnson was also asked if Lewis' retirement reminds him just how important playoff games are.
“Yeah, it took me nine years to get my first opportunity, so it’s not something you take for granted," he said. "There’s always a time when things come to an end and we all know that. But the thing about it is you just have to try to enjoy every moment of it that you have while you can. You’ll never experience anything like this as far as being around a team, being around the guys. Once you retire, you’ll never get that experience again.