OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Ray Lewis wants to put on pads and a helmet and start playing football again. He says he has spent enough time in court talking to lawyers.
''This is done,'' he said. ''This is a chapter that needs to be closed.''
Wearing a colorful shirt, khaki pants and sandals, Lewis spoke Friday at the Baltimore Ravens' training complex, his first news conference since he went to trial in the deaths of two men after the Super Bowl.
Lewis admits he was wrong in initially lying to police about the stabbings outside an Atlanta nightclub.
''I've faced fourth-down-and-one a lot of times, but when it's fourth-down-and-life, you don't know what's going to happen in that situation,'' he said. ''When the police approached me, I gave a false statement to them.''
Still, he remains resentful toward prosecutor Paul Howard, who arrested him on murder charges. But he wants to begin reassembling his life.
''Where am I going from here?'' Lewis said. ''Back to what I've been doing, playing football and enjoying what I do, showing kids that there's still a passion for the game even though you're falsely accused about certain things.
''I think what I honestly learned is that no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have and no matter who you think you know, that if someone wants to accuse you of something, they will.''
The next step in Lewis' effort to make the transition from accused murderer back to NFL star comes Monday, the first day of the Ravens' veteran minicamp.
Lewis expects his teammates to welcome him back. And he will be surprised if he is subjected to trash talk from opponents on game days.
''It would take a person that's heartless to bring this up on the football field because ... two people are dead,'' he said.
The murder charges were dropped Sunday, and Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice Monday and was sentenced to a year on probation.
''Ray Lewis was totally exonerated,'' said his attorney, Ed Garland, who likened the misdemeanor charge to a speeding ticket.
Lewis led the NFL in tackles last season and was an integral part of the league's second-ranked defense. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl, but missed the game after being implicated in the Atlanta murders.
His co-defendants remain on trial, and closing arguments were Friday. As part of his plea bargain, Lewis testified on behalf of the prosecution, and he said Friday he would not concern himself with the fate of his co-defendants.
He missed a minicamp and two other camps this spring, but Lewis said that shouldn't affect his preparation.
''When you've been doing something 15 years, a couple of months of missing it won't make you lose everything that you've learned or gained,'' he said.
If nothing else, Lewis received a valuable lesson from the harrowing experience.
''If there's anything I'll change, it's the choices I make,'' he said. ''I've always been a guy who's made great choices. Everybody stumbles every once in a while, but I don't think it's about stumbling. It's about recovering, to see where you go from there.''
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