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John Harbaugh admits replay challenge mistake

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After realizing what happened on a Wes Welker drop ruled a catch, Ravens coach John Harbaugh took responsibility.

John Harbaugh acknowledged the coaches made a mistake by not getting a challenge flag thrown after Wes Welker's third quarter drop that was ruled a catch.
John Harbaugh acknowledged the coaches made a mistake by not getting a challenge flag thrown after Wes Welker's third quarter drop that was ruled a catch.
Doug Pensinger

Immediately after Denver's 49-27 win over Baltimore last Thursday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked about a challenge flag kept in his pocket following what appeared to be a dropped ball from Wes Welker.

After the game, Harbaugh said his coaching staff never saw the replay and made a remark about NBC showing the clip in time for them to.

His tune changed Monday during his press conference.

"We could have done a better job with that, looking back on it, to get that information communicated," Harbaugh told reporters. "We could have been better with that."

Harbaugh wouldn't go into detail about the replay but it's evident who's fault it was in not getting the flag out. Harbaugh blamed himself, shouldering it for whichever assistant it is responsible for monitoring replays on the NBC feed.

"We just have to do a better job with it, and that's on me," Harbaugh said. "We've got to do a better job of it."

If challenged, the Broncos would have been forced to punt on fourth down. With it ruled a catch, Denver picked up a first down and scored a touchdown three plays later.

On the play, cornerback Corey Graham was close to Welker and began signaling to the sideline to throw the challenge flag. But even Graham understands a coach can't just take the advice of a player on the field in a particular moment. Other factors must be involved before the flag is thrown.

"I saw the ball hit the ground, but once again, playing against Peyton, you saw how fast they got on the line of scrimmage," Graham said. "I'm over there pointing at the ground trying to tell [the coaches] it hit the ground, but shoot, when the other receivers are lined up [and] getting ready to play, I had to run and go over and get to the receivers. So, I didn't really have time to do too much lobbying. They use a fast-paced offense, they do what they do, and they didn't really give us a chance to."

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