Ravens: Lewis report won't be a distraction

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Ravens: Lewis report won't be a distraction

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Baltimore Ravens don't intend to let the controversy surrounding linebacker Ray Lewis become a distraction in their preparation for the Super Bowl.

An article in Sports Illustrated said Lewis sought help from a company that says its deer-antler spray and pills contain a banned product connected to human growth hormone.

``We can't let that distract us from our one true mission, winning the Super Bowl,'' Baltimore running back Ray Rice said Wednesday, shortly before the Ravens hit the practice field to prepare for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Minutes earlier, Lewis said he ``never, ever'' used performance-enhancing drugs in his effort to return from a torn right triceps. He also distanced himself from Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS).

The Ravens are standing behind the 37-year-old Lewis, who sat out 12 weeks before returning to fuel the Ravens' playoff run. He will end his 17-year career after the Super Bowl.

``Ray is an awesome guy and we're here to play football. We don't even want to give that (report) any merit,'' Baltimore guard Bobbie Williams said. ``It's kind of sad that they would try to discredit a guy who's done so much and been such a big influence not only to this team but the National Football League. Here we are just a couple of days away from the Super Bowl and they try to do this right here. We just really want to just stay away from that.''

Coach John Harbaugh also backed Lewis, saying, ``He told me there's nothing to it. He's told us in the past, he's told us now, that he's never taken any of that stuff, ever. And I believe Ray.''

So do Lewis' teammates.

``No one has not passed a test and no one has tested positive for anything, so it's all speculation,'' linebacker and special teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo said. ``There's information and disinformation. If you have a little intelligence you can dissect it and keep it moving.''

The 49ers also find the story hard to believe.

``I don't think Ray would take any substance,'' San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis said.

Lewis and the Ravens have been taught not to take any medication or drug without first getting the OK from the league or the team's training staff.

``I will run everything by my trainers to make sure it's legal by the NFL,'' cornerback Corey Graham said. ``As an NFL player and a professional athlete, you do try a lot of stuff. I'm not going to sit here and say you don't. But you do have to run it by your trainers and people who know what's legal and not legal before you try it.''

Linebacker Paul Kruger said he learned of the league's policy on drugs during his first season in the NFL.

``If there is something you're interested in taking, you have to make sure it's cleared and OK,'' he said. ``From what I recall from the rookie symposium, the best way is to take it to the trainer and see what they think.''

Williams said if he is interested in taking something, he'll check with the NFLPA.

``They run it for banned substances and have people there for us to check everything,'' Williams said. ``They'll send me back an email telling me everything is cleared. That said, you're still responsible for everything you put in your body.''

Ravens give Steve Smith a lightsaber in incredible May the 4th video

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Ravens give Steve Smith a lightsaber in incredible May the 4th video

It's not even noon and the Ravens have already won the Internet for today.

The team account tweeted out an incredible video of Steve Smith and Bengals DB Adam Jones battling for a touchdown with lightsabers, then followed it up with Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and C-3PO gathered around a hologram of Terrell Suggs dancing. 

These are PERFECT. Such attention to detail! Do you see Smith's purple lightsaber? 

For those of you wondering where the Jedi moves came from, today is May 4, also known as Star Wars Day (#MayThe4thBeWithYou, get it?). The whole Internet is geeking out over the movies today, so brace yourself (and follow the Ravens).

Three things to know about Ravens fifth-round pick Matt Judon

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Three things to know about Ravens fifth-round pick Matt Judon

We are profiling Ravens draft picks heading into the start of rookie minicamp Friday. Here are three things you need to know about fifth-round pick (146), defensive end Matt Judon of Grand Valley St.

1. Judon had 20 sacks last season, more than any player in college football at any level.

That is the main reason the Ravens drafted him -- to harass quarterbacks. Judon is an impressive athlete at 6-foot-3, 275 pounds. Size will not be a problem. Strength should not be a problem. Technique could be his biggest issue jumping to the NFL, but it’s hard to think of two better pass rushers to learn from than Ravens outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. Judon is built more like Suggs, but both he and Dumervil have plenty of knowledge to share with Judon.

2. Don’t wonder if the jump from Grand Valley St. to the NFL will be too much for Judon.

Four other Grand Valley St. players are currently on NFL rosters -- CB Brandon Carr (Cowboys), WR Charles Johnson (Vikings), guard Tim Lelito (Saints), and OLB Dan Skuta (Jaguars).

3. Judon will have plenty of family rooting for him.

The West Bloomfield (Mich.) native has nine brothers and sisters. He will likely have some ticket requests.

Three things to know about Ravens sixth-round pick Keenan Reynolds

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Three things to know about Ravens sixth-round pick Keenan Reynolds

We are profiling the Ravens’ draft picks as they prepare to start minicamp Friday. Here are three things to know about sixth-round pick, WR Keenan Reynolds of Navy:

1. The biggest push to draft Reynolds came from assistant general manager Eric DeCosta.

DeCosta, general manager Ozzie Newsome, and coach John Harbaugh were visibly moved talking about making the phone call to Reynolds. All of them admire the way Reynolds has handled himself at Navy, both on and off the field.

When Newsome made the call, he put Reynolds on speaker phone so that everyone could hear his reaction. “Everyone in the room could be a part of telling him that we picked him,” Newsome said. “It was a special moment.”

2. Reynolds is much more than just a symbolic pick.

The Ravens believe Reynolds can stick as a punt returner, and that he has the athleticism and work ethic to become a polished slot receiver. Reynolds has many qualities inherent to top punt returners – good judgment, vision, elusiveness, sure hands, and speed. The Ravens also like that Reynolds has been working with CSN’s Brian Mitchell, a former Pro Bowl punt returner with the Redskins.

“Fortunately, we have a great relationship with Brian Mitchell,” DeCosta said. “We did our homework on him. He’s a guy that was a player of interest to us throughout the process. We kept it very quiet and, and it worked out the right way.”

 3. The Ravens are willing to wait if military obligations prevent Reynolds from playing right away.

Naval Academy graduates are obligated to a five-year military term, but Reynolds has hope of being able to play this fall. The Patriots drafted Navy graduate Joe Cardona last year as a long snapper, and he was granted permission to play. Cardona spent one day a week working at a Rhode Island naval facility. Reynolds hoped a similar arrangement could be worked out for him.

“I’m hoping and praying, and I’m confident that this potentially could be the same type of situation with myself,” Reynolds said. “It’s a blessing that the Ravens felt I was worthy to take a chance on with the military obligation and my service commitment.”