Baltimore Ravens players disagree with linebacker Ray Lewis' comments about the team lacking leadership this season.
Lewis took the team to task after it was reported that wide receiver Torrey Smith was hit over the head on Sunday night by a stripper with a champagne bottle.
"We have great leadership, so to say because of one incident that it's a leadership issue, to me, is a joke because everyone is not going to always be around and incidents happen," Smith told The Baltimore Sun. "Stuff happens in the locker room, stuff happens in the spur of the moment. Now, if it happens every week, all the time, then that's a problem. For one incident to happen and say it's a leadership issue when most of the team wasn't there, it's an overreaction.
"It's only bad because someone went and ran to TMZ. If no one knew, it wouldn't be an issue. We would resolve it in the locker room. It's resolved anyways."
Quarterback Joe Flacco chimed in to chide Lewis.
"It is what it is. Ray knows better than that. Things happen," Flacco said. "We're usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there's a lot of leadership problems then."
Linebacker Terrell Suggs said, "We have a lot of leaders on this team. I don't think that's one thing we're stressed (about), We don't know worry about that. We're worried about what we're trying to do as a team."
Lewis retired after the Ravens won the Super Bowl in February. Veterans Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin and Matt Birk also are no longer with the team.
"This is something that we spoke about earlier in the year when we talk about the transition of losing so many guys, a guy like myself and Ed Reed and other guys, that are based off leadership," Lewis said on Monday Night Football. "Because I've said it earlier: 'Where would the leadership come from?' Because the leadership being strong in the locker room and winning games ... listen, talent sometimes can win you games. But when you talk about what's going on off the field, that's the most important place where leadership steps up.
"When you think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they're missing leadership right now. When you have an incident like (late Sunday) night, the first thing a leader is going to do is find some way to dissolve everything that's going on -- and actually dissolve it before it comes to that type of head or even gets to this point. When you talk about the Baltimore Ravens, they're going to have to refocus and find some leaders in that locker room very quickly."
Fullback Vonta Leach thinks the situation was overblown.
"Leadership on our team is good," Leach told The Sun. "I don't think necessarily there's a question about our leadership. It's bad publicity, but no one got hurt or arrested. It could have been worse. Things happen. It's all right."