We probably should have addressed the aftermath of Ravens coach John Harbaugh's quote on Ray Rice almost a week ago, when he said, "It's not a big deal" in relation to Ray Rice's suspension.
Of course, the quote was in reference to a question on how the Ravens will be able to adjust to Rice missing two games, even though a lot of outlets misrepresented the quote to indicate Harbaugh was OK with Rice assaulting his wife, Janay Rice. That did not happen, and Harbaugh made sure writers and reporters were sure of that during his Wednesday press conference.
"For anybody out there that's going to misconstrue that and just write, ‘John Harbaugh is proud of Ray,' then shame on you," he said.
That prefaces the larger point Harbaugh was making, just a day before Rice is scheduled to take questions from the media. At this point, it's expected that Rice will answer questions in relation to what happened at Atlantic City, N.J.'s Revel Casino in February, when he and his wife — his fiancée at the time — were arrested for assaulting each other. Rice's public image as taken a huge hit, especially after a video surfaced on TMZ showing him dragging his now-wife's unconscious body out of an elevator.
Harbaugh isn't OK with that. And he at least made that point.
"I hate what happened," Harbaugh said. "What happened was wrong — flat out."
But to be fair, Harbaugh sees Rice every day at work. Based on Rice's productivity on the field and the fact the two have gotten to know each other since 2008, it's probably hard for Harbaugh to abandon the relationship, even if the aftermath of the incident could be construed as deplorable.
"I'm proud of him for the way he's handled it," Harbaugh said. "I'm disappointed in what happened, but you go forward. You go forward. And that's what we're going to do as a football team, and that's what we're going to do as [individuals and] what [Rice will] do as an individual. You'll see his heart tomorrow just like you saw it last time. He's not going to be polished. He's not going to give you some polished press conference. That's not Ray. Ray is going to speak from the heart, and he's going to do his best, just like he's doing going forward."
How much will Rice open up about that night? That remains to be seen. Practice begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, with Rice, along with Harbaugh, running backs coach Thomas Hammock and Harbaugh expected to address the media at around 11:15 a.m.
Tune into SportsCenter or the Ravens official site because this is a presser you probably don't want to miss.