This past week, there was some uproar from Patriots fans about the fact that former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis addressed the Buffalo Bills team before their Monday night game against New England. Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan coached Lewis in Baltimore, so it makes sense. Now, the more relevant topic we could talk about is the subject of an ESPN employee giving a pregame speech to one team before an ESPN broadcast, but this isn't the place for that discussion.
Anyway, with Thanksgiving this week, there was a little note related to this subject that we missed a few days ago. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had Ray Lewis address the Colts before last year's Divisional Round playoff win against the Denver Broncos.
Here's a little nugget: Pagano had Ray Lewis address the Colts before they played the Broncos in the playoffs. Denver didn't lose its mind.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 25, 2015
Pagano, of course, coached Lewis in Baltimore as well. He was the secondary coach from 2008-2010, but then he was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2011, meaning that he was able to work with Lewis closely. Lewis retired following the 2012 season and the Ravens' Super Bowl victory, a run that started by beating the Colts in the Wild Card round. The linebacker will surely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer once eligible, as his individual accomplishments are remarkable.
That Broncos game wound up being the biggest win of the Chuck Pagano era so far in Indianapolis, as they went on the road in the playoffs and defeated Peyton Manning and the Broncos 24-13 to advance to the AFC Championship game. The defense played a phenomenal football game in limiting Manning and daring him to beat them deep, something he couldn't do. The offense put up enough points to lead them to the victory, and even though the following week's game didn't go as the Colts would have liked, that doesn't take away from what they did against the Broncos.
So while having Ray Lewis address his team before Monday night's game didn't work out as well as Rex Ryan or the Buffalo Bills would have liked (they still lost), it seems to have worked out rather well for Chuck Pagano and the Colts last season.