On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Sep. 01, 2016 7:30 PM EDT Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Ravens at Saints on BaltimoreRavens.com or in the Ravens mobile app.
  • Tue., Sep. 06, 2016 8:00 AM EDT Paint The Town Purple Help us paint the town purple! Visit M&T Bank Stadium on Tuesday morning or the Maryland State Fairgrounds in the afternoon to have your car stenciled with the official Ravens logo.
  • Wed., Sep. 07, 2016 8:00 AM EDT #FindTheFlock Scavenger Hunt Locate one of the six LED Ravens letters spread around Baltimore on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and you could win great prizes by using the hashtag #FindTheFlock! Clues will be provided Wednesday morning via the Ravens Snapchat account, so stay tuned and make sure to follow BLTRavens on Snapchat!
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Sat., Sep. 10, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Sep. 10, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT Ravens Wired See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.
  • Sun., Sep. 11, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EDT Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sat., Sep. 17, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sun., Sep. 18, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EDT Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sun., Sep. 18, 2016 1:00 PM EDT Purple Club Happy Hour What's better than Happy Hour specials and Baltimore Ravens football? A Purple Club Happy Hour! Join the Purple club this season at various Buffalo Wild Wings locations to watch the Ravens on the road.

News

Print
RSS

Who Will Take Over Ray Lewis' Leadership Role?

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Ray Lewis has long been the emotional leader in Baltimore. Who can fill that void?


Not having Ray Lewis is more than just subtracting loads of tackles.

It’s perhaps even more about losing the team’s emotional leader.

While Lewis is sidelined with torn triceps, who will be Baltimore’s emotional catalyst? Who will give the emotional pregame speeches? Who will fill his role?

“Nobody,” safety Bernard Pollard bluntly said. “You get people trying to do that, you’re doing too much.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh called Lewis “probably the greatest leader in sports.” Lewis’ motivational speeches are the focal point of countless TV commercials and YouTube videos.

After 17 years in the league, fans and his teammates still marvel at Lewis’ passion. Opposing teams still stop to watch his pregame dance.

Harbaugh pointed to several other leaders in Baltimore’s locker room.

He named safety Ed Reed, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and fullback Vonta Leach, and added that “you replace [Lewis’s leadership] with 53 guys.”

But no player (either in Baltimore or perhaps around the NFL) does it the same way Lewis does.

Even Suggs, who returned to the practice field this week and is known for being vocal and playing with passion, can’t fully fill that role. McPhee said gaining Suggs doesn’t automatically offset the loss of Lewis.

“There ain’t no other Ray,” defensive end Pernell McPhee said. “Nobody can be that guy, that motivator who goes out with a lot of passion. Taking nothing from [Suggs], but Ray Lewis is Ray Lewis.”

There are other ways to lead, however.

Different players around the locker room said different guys would step up to help fill the void in their own way. Cornerback Jimmy Smith nominated veteran safety Ed Reed.

“We all know on this team that it’s kind of a rank in the leaders. Not kind of, it is a rank,” Smith said. “You’ve got our General [Lewis], and then you’ve got the next guy in line, and that’s Ed Reed. … So there’s going to be a little bit of a drop, but not much.”

Linebacker Albert McClellan pointed to Jameel McClain, who is expected to take over Lewis’ MIKE linebacker spot, and assume the defensive calls. McClain is a fast-talking, passionate player as well.

Rice (Little Ray) has been learning from Lewis (Big Ray) for the past four years as the two have shared many conversations at their neighboring lockers.

Ngata and Flacco are both more quiet leaders by example. Flacco has particularly assumed that role on the young offense, with teammates viewing him as the franchise player.

After undergoing surgery Wednesday, Lewis could also come back to the training facility and help motivate the team throughout the season.

As the NFL Films “A Football Life” documentary showed, Lewis returned to Miami last year when he was dealing with his toe injury that held him out for four games.

But he was with the team on game days, on the sideline barking out orders and in the middle of the pregame huddle. His teammates are expecting to see him back in Baltimore in some way.

“I know he’s still going to be around and in our ear,” said linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who is now expected to move into a starting linebacker position. “He just won’t disappear. It would be too hard for him because it wasn’t in his mind that he was going to leave right now.”

Pollard and McPhee echoed the same sentiment, feeling Lewis will still be around to pump up the team on Sundays.

“Ray is still with us,” Harbaugh said. “He will still be around. He’ll still be a part of what we’re doing. That is something that we will be fine with.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos