Same first name. Same swagger and intensity. Same division.
Even Ray Lewis, who was drafted and groomed into a Pro Bowler when Marvin Lewis was his defensive coordinator, figured it, too.
“I’ve watched him at USC,” Ray Lewis told the Baltimore media Wednesday. “I think he was a young kid who liked flying to the ball. I think they’re kind of bringing that same atmosphere over there. Marvin’s got him somebody who can turn into a thumper and be a leader over there.”
And Maualuga was watching Lewis long before this season.
“He’s definitely a person I want to see myself as. An intimidator. This will be a perfect game to make a statement,” said Maualuga, speaking as much for his fellow backers as for himself. “He’s a beast. A great player. Someone that can make an impact on a defense.”
Maualuga has had a more than a solid rookie year. He clearly brings the wood like few guys in the league with two forced fumbles, a pass defensed, a sack, and a team third-best 38 tackles. But he knows if he wants to be like Lewis, he’ll have to do something with the ball.
“Be alert,” he said. “Look for me in the end zone.”