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.