In the wake of Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones allegedly being struck in the head by a bottle on a party bus early Monday morning while celebrating the 34th birthday of offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, retired inside linebacker Ray Lewis questioned the Ravens' leadership again.
For the second time this month in his new role as an ESPN analyst, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year said the Ravens have a leadership void following his retirement and the offseason departure of Ed Reed to the Houston Texans.
"We talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys that are based off leadership, I've said it earlier: 'Where would the leadership come from?'" Lewis said on ESPN in Oakland prior to the Denver Broncos' win over the Raiders. "Because the leadership being strong in the locker room and winning games, listen talent sometimes can win you games. But when you talk about what's going on off the field, that's the most important place where leadership steps up.
"When you think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they're missing leadership right now. When you have an incident like that, the first thing a leader is going to do is find some way to dissolve everything that's going on and actually dissolve it before it comes to that type of head or even gets to that point. When you talk about the Baltimore Ravens they're going to have to refocus and find some quick leaders in that locker room very quickly."
The Ravens have identified several leaders on their team following the retirements of Lewis and center Matt Birk and Reed leaving via free agency, including outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and quarterback Joe Flacco.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh addressed the situation with the entire team and privately with Jones and McKinnie. Jones wasn't hurt seriously and was able to take part in his rehabilitation for a sprained right medial collateral ligament.
Harbaugh expressed disappointment about the incident.
“I'm not very impressed personally with the report,” Harbaugh said. “It's not something we want to be known for. I'd like to think it's not something that those guys would want to be known for. It's nothing to be proud of. I'm kind of disappointed in that sense.”
Harbaugh referred to an adage from his father, former college football coach Jack Harbaugh, when speaking to the team Monday.
"What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known as a football player or do you want to be known for that?" Harbaugh said. I don't think it's anything to be proud of. My dad, Jack Harbaugh, is here and that's definitely a motto that was enforced in our household: Nothing good happens after midnight. I did reiterate that with the guys today, yes.”
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