Ravens consciously change culture?

Ravens consciously change culture?
March 16, 2013, 3:00 am
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When the departure of Bernard Pollard happened this week, it was tough to fathom for Ravens observers. The safety didn’t cost that much, and he had played well during 2012. He was slowed by injury, but that seemed to be the only negative.

So why is he gone? Jamison Hensley at ESPN.com has an intriguing theory.

“Whether this is a conscious decision or not, the Ravens are losing strong and vocal leaders in the locker room. Linebacker Ray Lewis retired. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded. And now, for just $1 million in cap room, Pollard will get cut. This is becoming more and more coach John Harbaugh's team. Veteran players are more apt to challenge decisions, and younger ones are more willing to follow.”

One of the themes of the Ravens’ Super Bowl season was how Harbaugh felt confident enough in his authority that could let the players challenge him in what others viewed as a rebellion but that he saw as allowing them input. However, in changing the personality of the locker room — something that could be complete if Ed Reed signs elsewhere — Harbaugh would have a firm grip on the reins.

Does that sound too calculating? Would Harbaugh really be so concerned about having to deal with another season filled with such, uh, input that he would push for ridding the Ravens of talented but strong-willed players?

Not sure we’re buying this one, but the NFL is always good for a conspiracy theory or two.