Monday, January 17, 2011
Ray Lewis is a great player, but not a great leader.
There's an old saying that goes "attitude reflects leadership," and that sums up the story of the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens behind Ray Lewis have danced and talked their way into the playoffs since Joe Flacco came aboard, however, have found themselves on the short end of the stick. Following Saturday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lewis typically deflected blame from himself and the defense for the loss, and while he may have a point, as the three turnovers by the Ravens offense during the third quarter totally turned the game around, Lewis' stance is a selfish one and one of convenience. Is it time to question the legacy of Lewis? Peyton Manning gets thrown under the bus for his postseason failures, but the fact remains, he has as many rings and Super Bowl MVPs and like Lewis is a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer. Is it time to bring the leadership of Lewis under the microscope? When the Ravens defeated the Giants in Super Bowl 35, that team was loaded with veteran leadership on both sides of the ball. Lewis was the most talented player on that team, however, he was surrounded by veterans like Rod Woodson and Michael McCrary on defense. Lewis at the time was under scrutiny for his alleged role in a murder in Atlanta the previous year, and it was Shannon Sharpe who infamously came to the aid of Lewis in the week leading to the Super Bowl, deflecting much of the criticism and pressure from the linebacker, which no doubt allowed him to go out that Sunday and have his MVP performance. I understand to Ravens fans and many NFL insiders, it may be sacrilege to question the legacy of Lewis but it seems fair to question whether his leadership has brought the right attitude to Baltimore.