I am beginning to doubt the Baltimore Ravens have found a true leader on and off the field after the retirement of Ray Lewis.
Not only did the Ravens’ defense fall out of the top 10 in most major categories, it seems the players are falling out of morality. By now, everyone has heard about the Ravens who have been getting in trouble with the law.
No matter the outcomes now or the ongoing processes, there is a problem with Ravens acting out this offseason. Last offseason, this was not a major problem.
The Ravens had just won the Super Bowl, and you could say there was too much of a focus on them. This season, the Ravens did not attract too much attention heading into the offseason.
At the time, the Ravens still had a strong leader in Lewis. Previous years, there has not been major issues, and have not been afflicted by this curse as I have described it in a previous article.
With four Ravens becoming the focus, I can only connect it with the lack of leadership. Lewis left a big hole to be filled in terms of leadership.
From what I have observed from a perspective outside of the locker room, I do not believe someone has stepped up to fill that leadership role. There were signs of it on the field, but off the field, I do not think it has happened.
If someone has risen up to take the place, he has yet to earn anyone’s respect. The players are leaving the stadium and clearly are not caring too much about their actions.
In the type of environment that NFL players play in, there has to be leader to keep them straight when they no longer play on Sundays.
This seems to be a unique occurrence to the NFL, and the leaders in the locker rooms need to realize this.
Not every player gets in trouble with the law, but it is too consistent in the NFL for me not to discuss it.
There are players like J.J. Watt who keeps himself busy in the offseason by being a leader himself with children. I hear about Watt interacting with his fans and essentially fulfilling their dreams.
The Ravens need a new leader to emerge to try to keep the team in line. With John Harbaugh’s words earlier, I doubt something else will happen this offseason, but there still needs to be a leader in the locker room, even if it is not during the regular season.
Harbaugh should not have to step in and say what he did.
The leadership needs to start forming now to be ready for next season.
I want to see Joe Flacco step up to become a stronger leader for the offense and the entire team.
However, there needs to be a strong defensive player to step up to be a leader. I do not believe this player should replace Lewis completely right away, but he should be able to lead the defense on and off the field.
The biggest concern would be to set an example after gaining the respect of the defense in a leadership position, not just as a teammate.
Terrell Suggs is my first choice, but I have never been inside the Ravens’ locker room.
The conclusion is clear: someone needs to step up and be a leader. The Ravens’ offseason troubles are evidence of this.