Here's this week's GMC Playbook question from Marshall Faulk:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This week’s focus: FOCUS. On-the-field leaders wanted! Here’s my question for <a href="https://twitter.com/SBNation">@sbnation</a>: <a href="http://t.co/DP2hjWd7xN">http://t.co/DP2hjWd7xN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GMCPlaybook?src=hash">#GMCPlaybook</a></p>— Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) <a href="https://twitter.com/marshallfaulk/status/511986521025818624">September 16, 2014</a></blockquote>
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(Editor's note: We will be answering this in strictly football terms, not with any reference to what has transpired off of the field thus far during the year.)
This is a tough question when it comes to the Ravens, to be honest.
It would have been an easy answer two years ago when the organization still had Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, the organization really missed having that kind of leadership to keep everything on course when times got tough week in and week out.
Easy options would be Terrell Suggs or Haloti Ngata. But how did this team perform last year with those two guys on the roster and without the previous leaders?
It brings me to this player as the answer: Steve Smith.
Smith has brought a different attitude to this football team. And you can make a case the Ravens are almost 2-0 due to Smith's game against the Bengals, especially when he caught that 80-yard touchdown pass, throwing cornerback Adam Jones to the ground with a vicious stiff arm in the process.
He's added a tenacity that's been long missing on the offensive side of the ball. And it's apparent that Smith has become Flacco's go-to target thus far. Smith has caught 13 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. With Smith finding a groove early, he could be in for a bigger year than many played for. But it's his veteran leadership that should be able to get the Ravens on a much better track this season.