Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/25/13
Quarterback Joe Flacco first heard people questioning the leadership on the Ravens when training camp started two months ago. It didn’t bother him then and he seemed equally unaffected that the latest person to do it — player-turned-ESPN analyst Ray Lewis — is a friend and former teammate. “Ray knows better than that” Flacco said in a dismissive tone. “Things happen. I think we’re usually a pretty good team with [off-the-field] stuff like that. If you look around the league there are probably a lot of leadership problems then. So like I said Ray knows better.” As the Ravens returned to practice and accelerated their preparations for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium the players said that they have moved on from an incident early Monday morning in which Jacoby Jones was hit in the head by a bottle after celebrating teammate Bryant McKinnie’s birthday at a Washington night club. Jones who is dealing with a knee injury and will miss his third straight game against the Bills and McKinnie were unavailable for comment Wednesday. However Jones did address the incident on his radio show on 105.7 The Fan on Wednesday night. "I'm going to take the responsibility that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time" Jones said. "There was no altercation. There's nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong but I take responsibility for being in wrong place at the wrong time. Enough said. I apologize to my teammates and everybody." Asked about the meeting that he had with head coach John Harbaugh Jones said "We're fine. Everything is good." Earlier Wednesday Jones' teammates were left to address questions about the team's leadership. “Everybody has to take responsibility for their own actions whether it's good or bad” Ravens defensive end Marcus Spears said. “We're grown men in this locker room. I'm pretty sure those guys know how to respond and react to whatever the situation was and move on from it.” The Jones’ incident prompted Lewis speaking before the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders game on ESPN on Monday night to say that the Ravens are “missing leadership right now. “When you talk about what's going on off the field that's the most important place where leadership steps up” Lewis said. “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.” Ravens rush linebacker Terrell Suggs the longest tenured player of the team and the guy who is now considered the defensive leader following the departure of Lewis and Ed Reed said that he texted with Lewis this morning and he and his current teammates are “just having fun” with the retired linebacker’s recent comments. Both Suggs and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda did defend the leadership of the team but they were careful to not say anything that could be perceived as a slight toward Lewis. “I didn’t hear the comments but no it doesn’t bother me because we all understand the leadership that we have with our team guys and our team” Yanda said. “Obviously Ray he was a huge vocal leader and stuff like that and very enthusiastic and we all love him and miss him. But it’s going to be a different type of leadership [now] obviously. Nobody is going to be able to just jump into Ray Lewis’ role and just try to be exactly the same. But we all have a lot of really good leaders on this team and we’re not sweating it one bit.”
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