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Baltimore Ravens Team Store Pressbox

Draft day press conference 2000 4/15/00

Jamal Lewis RB Tennessee 5'11 228

Your reaction to being picked number five:

: I was excited to know I was picked at five. I really did want to play in that offensive scheme. I just really wanted to be apart of that team (Baltimore Ravens).

Can you talk about your injury you suffered as a sophomore and exactly what that was?

: As a sophomore I had a LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) tear. I went and got it basically reconstructed and I had surgery on it. I had it repaired. I rehabilitated hard on it and worked real hard in the off-season to get it back stronger. I was back for spring game and ready to get back on the field.

Some people said that you thought you might have come back to soon. Is there any merit to that?

: I didn't come back too soon. If anything, I came back later than sooner. I probably could have came back before the national championship that season. They really did not want to rush me and they let me rest. I think that is what helped it come along so fast.

Did Ozzie talk to you about your role in this offense when you came on your visit?

: He talked to me about my role. I basically knew what my role would be with all the teams I visited. It was just a matter of me coming in ready to play and learning the offense.

What do you know about the Ravens?

: I know a little bit about the Ravens. When I went to the facility, I met Trent Dilfer. I know that they have a good offensive line. I am ready to get with them and get playing.

Jamal, what do you see as the biggest challenge in stepping up to the NFL from big time college ball?

: Basically just learning the game. I really have to get a feel for the game and learn the speed of the game just like going into college. It is an adjustment, but I think I will be able to adjust pretty well.

Could you talk a little bit about catching the ball and your blocking?

: I think that is one strength that I do have, being able to catch the ball out of the backfield. And also being able to block. Those things are what make me a complete running back. I am able to block, run and catch the ball out of the backfield and that is why Baltimore chose me at five.

Do you have any advanced knowledge that you would be number 5? How much did you know before they picked you?

: Really, I didn't know, but I knew Baltimore wanted a running back. I didn't know if they were going to trade the pick or not. I knew that it was a possibility that they would take me with one of their picks. They really didn't let me know anything early. I really didn't know until about a minute before they picked me.

How do you feel?

: I feel great. This is an exciting time for me and my family and everyone around me. I feel great.

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