That's the assessment of media analysts and TV executives responsible for producing the studio shows and game telecasts of the
But success in the TV studio or booth is far from guaranteed, even for someone the stature of Lewis, analysts caution, pointing to the career of former
"Last month, I did a piece for
Calling Lewis' TV potential "extraordinary," Deitsch listed some of the things that make Lewis a lock for a TV job if he decides he wants one.
"He's considered to be incredibly charismatic, a great speaker, great communicator and on top of that has incredible name recognition, because he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Deitsch said. "What I got from everybody was if Ray decided to do this, if Ray was serious about being good at it, the sky's the limit for this guy."
"Ray Lewis has instant name recognition among all football fans and when he speaks he never holds back," Markman said Wednesday. "You know he will be candid in offering his insights and opinions. That's everything you hope for in an analyst, not to mention the fact that he's a
Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of
"He inspires, motivates and captivates people," Gaudelli said Wednesday, citing the kind of attributes that would make Lewis attractive to TV producers.
"Given that kind of ability, I think he would do better in front of the camera on a studio show or a taped show as opposed to being in booth. I'm not saying he couldn't succeed in the booth, but I think he would have a better chance in the studio setting."
John Ourand, media reporter for Sports Business Daily, agrees on all the attributes Lewis brings to the table, but he thinks it's a mistake for anyone to automatically assume that Lewis will be successful . There are simply too many variables between the personality, the camera and the public reaction to as polarizing a figure as Lewis in a new role.
"You never really know until someone is actually on TV how they're going to be," Ourand said. "You have somebody like
Former Cowboys star Smith is the opposite in Ourand's view.
"I thought he was very good on TV when he was a player," Ourand said. "He answered every question. He had a winning smile. He seemed like he was going to be very good, but he took the next step and sort of flamed out. So it's very difficult to determine how they're going to do."
Nevertheless, he does believe viewers will be seeing Lewis on some network or cable channel next year.
"I guarantee you Ray Lewis will be on TV on some national outlet next year," Ourand said. "He's a well-known name. He inspires a lot of passion. People love him — or, outside of Baltimore, they hate him. They remember what happened in Atlanta. That's the kind of polarizing figure TV executives love. … There are more than enough national outlets for somebody like Ray Lewis to get a tryout."