Sunday, September 15, 2013
Ray Lewis on Ravens' leadership
By Jamison Hensley
One of the big questions heading into this season was how the Baltimore Ravens would fill the leadership void without linebacker Ray Lewis. Count Lewis among those interested in who will step up on the Ravens.
"I really want to see where it comes from," Lewis said on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown." "Does it come from Terrell Suggs or does it come from Joe Flacco? Mr. (Steve) Bisciotti gave him $100 million. Does that $100 million calculate to you now spending bonus time with your young receivers, with your young team? There's one thing about talent -- talent is seen with the eye; leadership is rarely seen because it's done most of the time after-hours. And that's where I think the biggest issue is: who's going to be the leader to invest in that team?"
Lewis added, "For so many years when I was there, the No. 1 things that I did so much was spend times with guys off the field, when the coaches wasn't around, when the film wasn't showing. That's the most crucial time when you're talking about players development. How do you develop a man into a man? You've got to spend quality time with him. So now the question with the Ravens is: does Terrell Suggs spend that time? Does Joe Flacco spend that time with those young guys to get this ball club back where they need to be?"
The Ravens are banking on Suggs and Haloti Ngata to be the leaders on defense, with Suggs obviously taking more of a vocal role. On offense, the team is going to lean on the likes of Flacco, running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith.
If the Ravens can't beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and fall to 0-2, there is going to be pressure on the Ravens' new leaders to get the defending Super Bowl champions on track.