Eric Weddle's influence in the Ravens' locker room has quickly become apparent.
The veteran safety took over as the leader of the secondary almost immediately after signing in March, and he already seems like a player who has been in Baltimore for years.
He's constantly communicating with his teammates on and off the field during training camp, and Weddle's arrival reminds Ravens Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees of a Hall of Famer he coached earlier in his career.
"Who I compare [Weddle] to is Junior Seau," Pees said.
Pees knows first-hand the kind of impact Seau made late in his career when signing with the New England Patriots as a 17-year veteran. The linebacker joined the Patriots in Pees' first season as the defensive coordinator, and he quickly assumed a leadership role in a locker room that was already full of proven stars.
"We had a bunch of leaders in [Mike] Vrabel and [Tedy] Bruschi," Pees said. "You get a guy [Seau] that walks in that door, and he is an automatic leader, along with those guys, and is accepted. That is the same way Eric Weddle is."
A big way that Weddle has started to prove himself as a leader is by making the calls in the secondary. By the time the Ravens were on the field for Organized Team Activities this spring, Weddle was already calling out the defense to his new teammates.
Part of the similarity that Pees sees between Weddle and Seau is the attitude they brought when coming to a new team. They both had tremendous success earlier in their careers, which gave them instant credibility when stepping into a new situation, but neither of them tried to put themselves above the rest of the team.
"It's not, 'I'm going to take over the leadership role!'" Pees said. "It is just part of it. Those guys very much accept it. I'm very pleased with him."