Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/23/12
An all-time great linebacker is possibly out for the year. What’s worse, it could prove to be Ray Lewis’ last game.  If that should sadly prove true the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens will surely miss his presence. It will take a while to comprehend the Raven’s without their seminal linebacker, a great player that has played his entire career with one team.  Rarer still, Ray Lewis’ personality and ethic permeate the Baltimore team’s identity on the field and in the minds of the fans. In the years to follow future Raven players will have a clear standard of play that will be expected by fans and teammates alike.  Baltimore fans have grown to expect an excellent defense.Another group of fans that expect a great defense follow the Chicago Bears and once again this year’s Bears deliver.  During the Lovie Smith era in Chicago, the Bears have been the most opportunistic team in the league, consistently generating turnovers from their steady Cover Two defense.   While this Bear’s team has several stars the one player they cannot afford to be without is Charles “Peanut” Tillman who matches up well against a #1 receiver.  Tillman spent the early portion of his career going up against Randy Moss and Tillman has the size and smarts to do well against the league’s best.Watching the Bears defense and running game dominate the Detroit Lions Monday night I grew to appreciate Jon Gruden’s rah rah style of broadcasting.  Gruden points out some of the smaller aspects of the game and highlights individual player competition, which he did Monday night with the aforementioned Charles Tillman battling Calvin Johnson.  Gruden’s love of the game shines through when pointing out the strategy and effort of players and coaches. While some people have complained that Gruden gushes over every player I find his appreciation of players and their abilities refreshing.  There is plenty of criticism and rancor to be found in sports coverage, I like hearing the good too.  We too often hear what a player can’t do instead of appreciating what they can accomplish. Mike Tirico calls a smooth game making the move to the two man booth on Monday night’s the right one.  
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