During a lull in the 2011 NFL Draft, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh popped into the media room and sat down in an easy chair to chat informally with members of the media. Between the Ravens 4th round pick and their two Compensatory Picks at the end of the fifth round, there was a long time to just sit around and wait to see what other teams were picking before the Ravens had those last two consecutive picks in round five.
When Coach Harbaugh sat down, there were only a few media, including me, in the room, but by time he left, everyone, including all the media and the team's PR Department surrounded his chair to hear his comments and opinions. Most of the questions centered around the draft, but he also commented on the first round trade that never happened.
(Click on the 'Jump' to see a couple of the questions I was able to ask Coach Harbaugh)
I asked him if he had followed his brother's draft out in San Francisco, which he said he had and thought they did a great job. We laughed about the prospects of a draft day trade screw-up between the two brother's teams and that his father would usually just bang their heads together to settle things when they were young kids.
I also asked him if they were able to give out any playbooks before the NFL Lockout resumed. He said Jimmy Smith was there and he got his playbook in time, but Torrey Smith did not arrive until Saturday morning and therefore was unable to receive his. However, Harbaugh was not overly concerned as he expected the veterans to be in contact with most of the rookies and share their information with them.
While the Ravens head coach can be serious, unwilling to divulge information and even confrontational at times during press conferences when he is pegged with leading questions, he was calm and forthright in his opinions, with some answers preceded by the comment, "off-the-record" before he continued. These type of impromptu conversations were the highlight of my time at the Ravens Training Complex, along with, of course, the great food they serve!