Where’s the Defensive Leadership for the Baltimore Ravens?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Baltimore Ravens‘ 49-27 loss at the hands of the Denver Broncos, there was one question that immediately came to mind once the clock hit the triple zeros.

Where is the leadership on this defense?

Keep in mind, this is the first NFL season for the Ravens franchise where No. 52 Ray Lewis isn’t patrolling the sidelines, nor is he in the middle of that defense making signal calls and boosting team morale.

I’m not making an indictment on guys like inside linebacker Daryl Smith, but he is different in terms of the ways he leads a team. Leading by example isn’t always the popular form of leadership as some people prefer their leader to be more vocal.

The Ravens simply don’t have that type of player this year… or at least it seems that way during the preliminary stages of the season.

There has been a lot of talk about linebacker Terrell Suggs stepping into the leadership voids left by Lewis and Houston Texans safety Ed Reed. While Suggs has appeared to take on a more serious approach towards the game of football, he still is a class clown at heart and doesn’t command as much attention and respect as the two aforementioned former players.

For what it’s worth, I’m not going to use this media avenue to beat up Terrell Suggs because he played pretty well – the entire defensive line did for the most part. However, it appeared to me last night that for the first time in a long time,  John Harbaugh had a “deer in the headlights” look on his face and he had lost his sideline during the second half.

Without having Ray Lewis around to serve as a checks and balances mediator along the white lines, what will John Harbaugh do? Yes, he is the field general being the head coach of the football team, but he has to look to some of his guys on his defense and push them to want to be the leader.

The offense has Joe Flacco; the defense it remains to be seen.


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