In most NFL teams the quarterback is the leader. It is under his guidance that the team rallies for a win or self destructs. However, the Baltimore Ravens have been the exception to the rule for years. Ray Lewis was the undisputed leader of the Ravens. Now that he is gone someone is going to have to step up. Steve Bisciotti , the owner of the Ravens, wants that person to be Joe Flacco. The question, is Flacco a capable leader?
You cannot blame Bisciotti for wanting Flacco to be the new leader. Flacco is now the $100 million dollar quarterback; if Bisciotti wanted him to jump through a ring on fire he better do it. Additionally, this is usually the job of a quarterback and one would assume that Flacco was a captain to a team at one point in his career. He needs to draw on these memories and use his experience to aid the younger players on the team. In reality the whole team needs a captain, not just the young ones. Just think about the Indianapolis Colts after Peyton Manning was injured in the 2011-2012 season.
The problem is not whether Flacco can be a leader; it’s the shoes he has to fill. There is no current NFL player like Ray Lewis. He was gifted as an orator and his speeches may have been the tipping point for several wins. One of the things that analysts kept saying was a benefit for the Ravens in the Super Bowl was that they had Ray Lewis. His existence on the team gave the Ravens the edge. Flacco is not known as being an outspoken member of the team. He is mostly laidback and takes things in stride. It is hard to imagine him stepping up to make an impassioned speech to his team.
Will it matter if Flacco cannot rise to the level of Ray Lewis?
Probably not. We already know Flacco is not the type to dance, yell or cry in joy. For God sakes he celebrated his brand new contract by going to a Mcdonalds drive through. However, a lot of other team leaders are not that type either. As long as Flacco can use his experience and vast resume to assert his leadership, he can lead the Ravens. Whether he can architect a performance like last season is another story all together.