OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -
When Ray Lewis was selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL draft, he didn't even know the nickname of the team that drafted him.
Lewis quickly became the face of the Baltimore Ravens, and the stellar middle linebacker will remain a beloved figure in Charm City long after he pulls off his No. 52 jersey for the final time.
After moving from Cleveland in 1996, the Ravens made Lewis their second draft pick behind Jonathan Ogden. Lewis recalls asking general manager Ozzie Newsome, "What's our team name going to be? Who are we?"
Lewis ended up playing 17 seasons with Baltimore while setting the tone for the team's rugged defense.
The 37-year-old Lewis will retire after the Ravens' current playoff run. Baltimore (11-6) faces Denver (13-3) on Saturday.