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Ravens working to fill leadership void, quiet time

Joe Flacco AP

We won’t know for three months or so how a new Ravens defense will look on the field.

But we know, right now, the team as a whole is quieter.

Without the yelling and screaming of Ray Lewis, along with veteran Ed Reed, the locker room is certainly less noisy, though Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn’t think that equals a lack of leadership.

The guys will fill it right up,” Harbaugh said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “The leadership lid maybe gets pushed off, maybe, and some other guys grow up behind into that opportunity. That’s what will happen. I can see guys doing it already.”

Quarterback Joe Flacco’s going to bear the brunt of that, given the position he plays and the $120.6 million contract he signed this offseason. But his is a low-key style, practically opposite Lewis. But whether it’s Ray Rice or others, someone will step into that void.

“I’ve thought about. Ray was never here during the offseason anyway, so I’d say it’s business as usual. How about that?,” Harbaugh joked. “It’s normal, but Ray’s a part of us. He’s always going to be a part of us, just like all the other guys that have played here are always a part of us. Those guys are always welcome. They are back from time to time.

“Truly, when you are a part of a football team, anybody that has played any sport, football is the one that I know, you do walk together forever as teammates. So those guys are still a part of it, and this team goes forward and tries to build a legacy and see what they can do with it. That’s what’s exciting.”

The Ravens front office hasn’t been shy about moving on from older players, and how the younger ones fill those roles will help determine to what degree the strength of the organization is bigger than any single part.

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18 Responses to “Ravens working to fill leadership void, quiet time”
  1. jjb0811 says: May 28, 2013 7:33 AM

    Talking is one thing, leadership is another; what they really lost were 2 HoF’ers. It was time for Lewis and Reed to move on, but filling that talent is the key. The Ravens will be fine, that have been since their beginning.

  2. nyyjetsknicks says: May 28, 2013 7:36 AM

    Just have someone thank the Flying Spagetthi Monster, jesus christ or whatever made up fairy tale after every play.

  3. reed20fence says: May 28, 2013 7:51 AM

    Think about it this way – how many leaders does it take to replace the greatness in leadership of #52?

    Apparently the Ravens feel it takes the free agent acquisitions of four different veteran team captains on defense alone, capped off with an entire draft class worth of team captains from their respective Universities.

    And the kicker of it is- I still don’t think they feel comfertable that they’ve replaced Ray’s intangibles.

  4. conormacleod says: May 28, 2013 8:00 AM

    Some of the guys have to be happy the fire and brimstone crap won’t be heard though, right?!

  5. flavadave10 says: May 28, 2013 8:13 AM

    Things aren’t going to stay quiet for long with Terrell Suggs around. We should start a pool for when his first offensive/hilarious comment about another team or player will be.

  6. kokoskmr says: May 28, 2013 8:42 AM

    John Harbaugh=Best current NFL head coach.

  7. crownofthehelmet says: May 28, 2013 8:56 AM

    Good luck with that.

  8. Joemontanaflacco says: May 28, 2013 9:17 AM

    All the Ravens are proven leaders. That’s why they are Superbowl Champions. They work as a team and that spirit stays with a Raven throughout his life. You don’t hear Boldin insulting his former team by overpraising the 49ers, calling them a “hungry” group with a “college atmosphere.” You don’t hear Flacco whining about younger quarterbacks. There’s no anonymous locker room snakes ripping apart a certain linebacker and no ex-linebackers is vowing to take revenge on the team that threw him out the door and forced them to play for a division rival. Ravens got it together, man!

  9. jtbsteeler says: May 28, 2013 11:03 AM

    Yeah, they have it together alright. Go look on NFL.com where it says “Ozzie looking to add a veteran WR” LIKE I TOLD YOU HE WOULD!!! He knows a garbage WR corp when he sees it. He should, he drafted it. Your FO really has it together signing the likes of McClain. What a fiasco. Then your QB and his agent think the FO is dumb. Then he doubled down on those sentiments yesterday. I LOVE it.

  10. jtbsteeler says: May 28, 2013 11:06 AM

    For some reason you Ravens fans think James Harrison is going to focus his whole season on the Steelers and forget to embarrass Flacco like he usually does. Haha. I guess he will only get amped to play us?! LOL. Don’t worry, that reality will hit home like it usually does, with Flacco coughing the ball up. At some point you will have realize he plays your team also…

  11. scoobies05 says: May 28, 2013 12:13 PM

    settle down jb. just remember your steelers have garbage at rb wr te and ol. thats why they missed the playoffs and will again.

  12. scoobies05 says: May 28, 2013 12:47 PM

    so if i understand jb correctly, the entire steeler team is made up of draft picks, and they never pick up free agents? dude you have no clue what you are talking about. the ravens draft as well as anyone and never have to overspend on free agents. as far as picking up free agent wrs…do you realize that your beloved steelers have signed cotchery and burress. smh and lol

  13. tiggerblood says: May 28, 2013 1:35 PM

    Just as expected… No leader, you can’t expect a FA or rookie to come in and tell a team that just won a super bowl how to be and where to be without actually ever producing for said team. Leaders lead first by example and then by mouth not the other way around. I’m sure it’ll take few games until someone steps into that role on defense.

  14. Joemontanaflacco says: May 28, 2013 3:57 PM

    “Go look on NFL.com where it says “Ozzie looking to add a veteran WR” LIKE I TOLD YOU HE WOULD!!! He knows a garbage WR corp when he sees it. He should, he drafted it. Your FO really has it together signing the likes of McClain. What a fiasco. Then your QB and his agent think the FO is dumb. Then he doubled down on those sentiments yesterday. I LOVE it.”

    I’m sure the players are all upset about what an agent says, or the fact that Ozzie wants to replace a veteran WR with another veteran. Oh, and the no-risk McClain contract must be killing morale. ON THE OTHER HAND, when your QB whines like a baby over younger QBs, your team mates trash you behind your back, and you watch your FO slam the door in the face of one of your top performers — that’s a perfectly healthy environment that would encourage others to step up and assume a leadership role. Oh yeah!

  15. jimmyjames65 says: May 28, 2013 10:43 PM

    Where’s my hammer and nails?

  16. flavadave10 says: May 29, 2013 12:22 PM

    jtbsteeler says:
    May 28, 2013 11:03 AM
    Yeah, they have it together alright. Go look on NFL.com where it says “Ozzie looking to add a veteran WR” LIKE I TOLD YOU HE WOULD!!! He knows a garbage WR corp when he sees it. He should, he drafted it. Your FO really has it together signing the likes of McClain. What a fiasco. Then your QB and his agent think the FO is dumb. Then he doubled down on those sentiments yesterday. I LOVE it.
    ————————————————
    Or maybe Ozzie Newsome wasn’t sold on the receivers in the draft and in free agency so far? Ozzie usually does something from out of the blue after June 1st- and that’s also when they get some more cap room.

    Why don’t you go watch the History Channel and worship your 6 rings? That should help you forget how mediocre your team currently is.

  17. flavadave10 says: May 29, 2013 12:24 PM

    I’d say that drafting 5 guys in the first four rounds who were team captains in college is an efficient way to replace leadership. Look up Simon’s half-time speech against I think it was Michigan. That was some borderline Ray Lewis-esque preaching.

  18. steelerben says: May 29, 2013 12:49 PM

    So, to address both sides of the aisle:

    1. James Harrison. He spent the better part of two seasons injured and then refused a very reasonable contract from the team to go flirt with division rivals. He overplayed his hand and got burnt.

    2. Losing veteran leadership on the Ravens. While it is hard to argue that there wasn’t a decline in on field performance from both players it is equally difficult to say that a void in leadership won’t be a challenge. I’d be surprised if the team was completely rudderless, as they are well coached, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see uncharacteristic miscues on the defensive side of the ball.

    3. Ben making comments about RG3, Wilson, Kaep, Luck, etc. It does make sense to let these kids play a season or two more before sending them to Canton. It also isn’t surprising to hear Roethlisberger complain about something. He likes to whine. And who cares as long as he keeps the team competitive?

    4. Rolando McClain’s contract/hiring. I actually am going to applaud the way this was handled. Instead of cutting him loose like Titus Young so that he could continue his downward spiral, the Ravens let him “retire” so they could retain his rights and leave a channel open for him to get help from the team. Ozzie is taking good care of a kid that clearly needs it.

    5. The Steelers positions and O-Line. The offensive line is getting back three guys from injury. There are some pretty high draft picks there and some pretty high expectations. Let’s watch them as a unit before writing them off. At RB, WR, and TE the team should be alright. The (re)signing of Matt Spaeth isn’t setting the world ablaxe, but he should be fine filling in until Miller gets back. The Steelers have a history of finding wideout talent in lower rounds, so I expect that to continue. And finally, picking up a running back in the draft and hopefully teaching Dwyer how to not fumble will be enough to function in Haley’s schemes.

    6. The Ravens bringing in a veteran WR. If they have cap space and want someone to provide leadership at the position, why not? Smith has speed and is learning to run routes, Ford has speed but isn’t reliable over the middle, and their two tight ends provide big red zone targets. The kid from the draft looks like he can step into the possession receiver role that Boldin played, but buying an insurance policy cheap if he doesn’t pan out is called good football.

    7. Steelers free agents. Traditionally the Steelers don’t spend on free agents. In the past it was because the Rooneys were cheap. Now it is because they over spent on current players.

    8. Flacco’s agent talking about the FO. Either Flacco is going to go out there and light up the NFL making the front office look like geniuses for keeping him on the team and not letting someone like Arizona, Kansas City, Cleveland, the Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay or another QB hungry team sign him away or he lays an egg and everyone looks foolish. Could have had him for less money last year? Maybe. But then they’d have been much more likely to trade him away at the beginning of last year when he was not looking so great. Either way, who cares what an agent has to say? They are paid to lie.

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