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Has John Harbaugh Lost Control of The Ravens?

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Or have the Baltimore Ravens just picked up too many guys who make bad decisions?

Yes, we all know about Ray Lewis’ issues more than a dozen years ago, but overall, the Ravens have been a proud franchise that has very few issues when it comes to lawbreakers.

From 2000 – 2013, the Ravens had 17 arrests, which had them tied for 18th in the NFL with 4 other teams. The Bengals and Vikings led the NFL with 40, while the Broncos had 35 and the Titans had 32. The Texans and Rams had the fewest with just 9.

Since the SuperBowl in February, I can find 17 active NFL players that have been arrested… 4 of them Ravens.

That is unacceptable!

We all know about Ray Rice’s situation and we each have our own opinions on how that was handled. Still, the team is looking at a 2-4 games suspension for Rice from the NFL for his arrest for aggravated assault.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested for misdemeanor battery. Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson was facing a felony possession of marijuana until the case was dismissed. And now 4th round draft pick Lorenzo Taliaferro was arrested for public drunkenness along with destruction of property over the weekend.

The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson reports that Taliaferro isn’t expected to face discipline from the NFL for his misdemeanor charges, but it still brings up a bigger question… why?

Why have the Ravens been in the news so much lately for all the wrong reasons? Are the players being given too much freedom? I know they are “adults” but it seems not all of them are worthy of the responsibility and freedom that comes with being an adult.

The Ravens troubles may not be over either.

Tuesday night, Joy Lepola Stewart from Fox 45 tweeted the following:

And then this Retweet from Stewart that was subsequently deleted…

If true, that’s a second time in two off-seasons that a Ravens party has gotten out of hand.

Last year, you may remember the party bus in DC, where Bryant McKinnie and Jacoby Jones partied with Sweet Pea who used Jones’ noggin for batting practice with a “gigantic Ace of Spades bottle”.

There were a number of Ravens players reportedly on the bus to celebrated McKinnie’s birthday.

This year, a Memorial Day BBQ might have ended badly.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has worked hard to clean up the Ravens image since taking over the team. John Harbaugh had been known as a no-nonsense type of coach, following a player’s coach in Brian Billick. But does he have control over his team? And is that even possible, especially during the off-season when players may not necessarily even be in state?

No matter the reason, something has to change. The Ravens are known as a rough, smash-mouth football team, but I, for one, don’t want to be rooting for a team of thugs. Bisciotti, Harbaugh, and Ozzie Newsome need to have a team meeting and lay down the law. Players need to be held to a higher standard.

As a parent, if my children do something wrong, I will support them, but I will also discipline them as needed. The Ravens front office needs to do the same. They need to be supported by the team, but they also need to be reprimanded for their actions. Players need to be fined and/or suspended by the team… not just by the NFL.

Enough is enough!

I don’t care of its domestic violence or public drunkenness… these players need to get their act together. When they sign up to play professional sports, they sign up to be role models. They sign up to be held to a higher standard and have their lives inspected. It comes with the territory.

I work in radio. When I was hired, I signed a lifestyle agreement basically saying that I could and could not do and say certain things. Something I do or say may not be illegal, but I could be fired for it.

I represent a company and am held to a higher standard as an on-air personality.

Professional athletes do the same thing. Don’t make excuses for them. They know what they signed up for. While you are an employee of a team, you need to keep a low public profile and stay out of trouble.

I’d like to see the team take a tougher stance with players who mess up. But I also understand that money and play talk. They aren’t going to cut a Pro-Bowl type player for a misdemeanor because the team needs him.

But with 4 off-season arrests and potentially a 5th situation, the Ravens need to do something or risk earning the “thug” label that fans of so many other teams unfairly attach to the Ravens.

Well at least it used to be unfair?


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