Coach John Harbaugh's Ravens just won the Super Bowl this week. But the team's already started working on next year, and Harbaugh said 2013 will present different challenges.
Speaking at the end-of-season press conference Thursday morning, Harbaugh said each year gives teams different things to deal with and figure their way through. That's just life in the NFL.
"Every season is different. I don’t really believe in the defending champ thing," Harbaugh said during the press conference. "It’s not boxing. They don’t give you belt when you fight for the title. We’re the champions. The 2012 NFL champions were the Baltimore Ravens. Who is next year’s champion depends on who plays the best and handles adversity the best and comes out on top."
The Ravens had to deal with a lot of adversity this season. They had to work their way through a load of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, a late-season losing streak where many thought the Ravens wouldn't be much of a force in the playoffs and other problems.
That's what 2012 brought. The Ravens already know that, for 2013, they'll have to deal without having linebacker Ray Lewis for the first time in franchise history. How much will that affect the defense and the team? That's a question which will needed to be answered.
There will be other issues also, things that no one knows about just yet. And what does that mean? Simply put, the Ravens will have battles to get through next year just like this year. They'll just work hard again in 2013 like this year and hope to bring another trophy home.
"We’ll fight for that championship just like we fought for the last one," Harbaugh said. "Every season’s different. Every season poses different challenges. With Ray being gone that will be [tough], but our guys are up to the task. I can’t wait to get started."