The Baltimore Ravens saw legends Ray Lewis and Ed Reed leave in the offseason. The team has been so used to have players who have a coach’s mind on the field, but when players like Lewis and Reed leave, the focus will be on Ravens head coach John Harbaugh even more.
Harbaugh is entering his sixth season as the Ravens head coach as the defending Super Bowl champions. One outside of the Ravens circles would argue that the situation is almost too perfect for Harbaugh, as the season will provide the opportunity for him to put his stamp on this team even more.
The coach is in the forefront of this team whether by design or by coincidence, and I’m sure he will embrace the challenge. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome will provide him everything he needs to be the team’s overseer.
With the Ravens going towards the youth movement, there is no way a young player can argue with a Super Bowl-winning head coach. In the past, maybe a player like a Lewis, Reed and current Ravens like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata had some authority in terms of practice reps, but now, those types of players on the team are very few and far in between.
Harbaugh is just beginning to have the team the way he envisioned it. When he entered the Ravens organization in 2008 as a rookie head coach, there were strong personalities in terms of veterans who were used to doing things under the previous head coach Brian Billick, whose training camps had fans and media members joke around and calling it ‘camp cream puff’.
Now, the Ravens are known to have one of the most physical camps in the entire league. And who can argue with the results so far?