Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the Ravens this offseason will be dealing with the losses of four of their best team leaders in Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin and Matt Birk. The good news, however, is that they have done a pretty successful job of reloading the roster with a number of new veteran leaders.
According to the players, the hard-working mentality instilled by the likes of Reed and Lewis is still intact thus far throughout OTAs. Jacoby Jones sounded off about the Ravens new leaders in an interview with NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala, "There's guys missing, they're gone, we're going to miss them. But the spirit is the same . The guys we brought in, we all have the same type of personality, the same spirit. Ozzie knew what he was doing when he brought those guys in." The Ravens have always been one of the NFL's best teams when it comes to the level of leadership they possessed both on the field and in the locker room. That level of leadership is what propelled the team through a stellar playoff run last season that eventually culminated in a Super Bowl championship. Obviously, even with the new veteran faces on the roster, the identity of this team will not be the same. However, fans should be confident in the leadership abilities of these newly acquired players, namely Elvis Dumervil, who has embraced his role as a leader so far this offseason, helping push the younger players on defense.
It won't be an easy transition and chemistry surely won't develop overnight, but given time, this team (significantly younger than last year's) could evolve into yet another special group with a strong corps of on-field leaders and perhaps even make another unlikely run at a Super Bowl title.