Harbaugh driving leadership bus

Harbaugh driving leadership bus
September 24, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Harbaugh on Jacoby Jones: 'Nothing to be proud of'

There has been much discussion about leadership on the Ravens, now that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have departed.

An important element of that leadership starts with their coach, John Harbaugh. Monday was another example. Harbaugh took the direct approach at his press conference, when asked about the party bus incident involving Jacoby Jones and Bryant McKinnie.

Harbaugh could have given it the “no comment.” But he didn’t dodge questions. He admitted he was disappointed. His reaction, even laughing when someone asked if he would celebrate his birthday on a party bus, was the right touch. It showed that Harbaugh wasn’t too uptight to see a little humor in an embarrassing situation. Meanwhile, saying he was not impressed with Jones and McKinnie was part of their punishment, calling them out publicly for their poor judgment.

One of the toughest things about being a head coach is that you never know what will come across your desk next. When Harbaugh left M & T Bank Stadium on Sunday after a resounding victory over the Texans, the last thing he expected to talk about Monday was a party bus. Not the kind of 51st birthday present he was looking for.

However, Harbaugh has the experience to deal with the unexpected, and the clout that comes with success. His team is the defending Super Bowl champion. He has never missed the playoffs.

That doesn’t mean Harbaugh will always make the right moves, or handle every situation smoothly. It does mean that in a season of transition, with so many new players and expectations still high, having a coach with Harbaugh’s track record is a pl

Lewis, now working for ESPN, criticized the Ravens’ leadership in remarks before Monday night’s Broncos-Raiders game.

“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 think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they’re missing leadership right now.”

Harbaugh would clearly disagree. Players like Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, and Vonta Leach have already shown a willingness to take on more leadership this year.

But when it comes to the subject of leadership on the Ravens, don’t forget Harbaugh. In many ways, he’s the person driving that bus.