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Player Leadership Council Important For Ravens


Joe Flacco was finishing up a press conference Tuesday afternoon when veteran defenders Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata stood on the stairs outside Head Coach John Harbaugh's office and chided him to hurry.

They had business to address.

Suggs, Ngata and Flacco are three members of the Ravens' leadership council, and they had a post-practice meeting scheduled with Harbaugh. Flacco wrapped up his podium session a few questions later and headed upstairs to join Suggs, Ngata, Daryl Smith, Marshal Yanda, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr. and Sam Koch.

"One thing we try to do is that we really try to involve our players in everything we're doing," Harbaugh said. "That's part of the process. It's their team in the end. They're the guys out there playing the game, and they end up being huge leaders, especially by example."

Harbaugh has spoken previously about the importance of the player leadership council. The group will discuss a variety of topics ranging from team issues to practice schedules.

"Anything that Harbaugh feels like would be something to bring to the leaders and veteran guys, he can do that and we can all talk about that," punter Sam Koch said. "It's great because it gives us a platform where his door is always open and we can have a leadership meeting whenever, and be able to talk about things."

The Ravens voted on the leadership council the first day of training camp, and the group changes from year to year.

Harbaugh is known for conversing with players throughout the roster – he often joins young players for meals in the team cafeteria – and he said the leadership council is just one way he interacts with the team. 

"It's not just those guys. There are guys who aren't the 'leadership council' who are involved in decisions we make every day," Harbaugh said.

"Now we just need to go out and win some games and validate the things that those guys have done."

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