What's Team Morale Like For Ravens?


The day after a loss is always difficult.

That was particularly true Monday, when the Ravens had to come to grips with the fact that they're 1-4 for the first time in franchise history. As much as the defeat stung, Brandon Williams and several of his teammates held up their commitment to take part in the Goodwill Gridiron Halloween party.

Williams threw on his Hulk costume and went to the party, and the response from the fans helped keep things upbeat despite the results of the first five weeks. 

"They just always have encouraging words and kind words," he said. "We're down right now, and the fans like that help a team get picked back up."

That attitude extends into the Ravens locker room.

Yes, the Ravens are clearly disappointed with losing four games where they led in the fourth quarter. They truly believe they could be sitting with an undefeated record right now.

But no, those losses haven't led to the team mailing it in for the rest of the year.

"Morale has been good," Williams said. "No one is down on themselves. No one is [saying], 'Woe is me,' pointing fingers, nothing like that. I was always told if you point one finger, there's three more pointing back at you. You have to look at what you've been doing wrong and get better at that. So, that's what we are doing."

For most of the players on the team, this start is a completely unfamiliar feeling. The Ravens have never gone through a losing season since Joe Flacco arrived in 2008, and the veteran quarterback hasn't seen the team lack the confidence they need to can win games.

"It's tough, but it's part of the NFL," Flacco said. "I think we have a lot of confidence in what we're doing around here and the way we do it, so we have to just get through it. You can't keep your head down. We still have to come to work. I think we've had a great mindset as a team, as an organization."

The tone of the team often starts with the head coach, and Flacco praised the way John Harbaugh has handled the difficult start to the season.

"I think he feels as though he has a great team; I feel the same way," Flacco said. "He's still in here doing those same things of trying to get the confidence across to us. So, I would say [he is] steady and upbeat, ready to go."

Harbaugh has shown a willingness to make changes in order to find solutions. The Ravens have made 11 roster moves already this week, and he said the coaching staff will take a hard look at their schemes to determine what tweaks they could make.

But while Harbaugh will make changes, he isn't abandoning his principles or established approach.

"As a coach – or in any kind of role in an organization – you try to set a tone and a tempo," Harbaugh said. "It's not necessary to pump guys up or give pep talks or anything like that. Our guys are grown men. They understand the situation. They're motivated. They want to do well. We're not pleased with the outcome, but the process has been excellent. Our guys are working hard."

Harbaugh has stressed through the losses that he believes the Ravens have the right approach. They have been in every game, and their record could look much different if only a few plays had gone the other way.

"The results are going to come," Harbaugh said. "Is it tough when they don't come as quickly as you want? Absolutely. But that's life. Our guys understand that. We just talk straight with them and make sure they understand, 'Hey, we have a game to win this week,' and that's what we aim to do."

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