The Baltimore Ravens have been out of the playoff picture for the past three seasons, something that fans and the front office are both obviously upset about. They pine for the days when 10 wins was the benchmark for the team, and the real concern was trying to win the division or get a first round bye.
Someone squarely in the middle of all that angst is head coach John Harbaugh, who led them to victory in Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 season. Reflecting on those good old days on the Around the NFL podcast, Harbaugh gave some insight on the incident that made that game one of the more memorable ones in recent NFL history: The post halftime power outage that killed half of the lights in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
“I heard the story the next morning about some switching station outside the stadium, and I was a little skeptical. My first thought was like, maybe it was some kind of attack, and I don’t know if I thought of that or someone might of said something like that to me. And I thought like ‘oh man, we’re kind of exposed down here.’ But really, just being straight up, it’s just kind of another thing, another obstacle. Yeah it’s crazy, what the heck’s going on, this has never happened before, this is ridiculous - but that’s not really what you think about. What you think about as a head coach is, how are we gonna deal with this? How are we gonna have our guys ready? Unfortunately, we didn’t do a very good job, because we were up 28-6 and they came roaring back. They got their guys more ready.”
He went into more detail about how the unprecedented situation created some different obstacles that could’ve hindered the Ravens even further than just some lost momentum:
“I was over there on the sideline and towards the end of the whole deal, they were trying to tell me that my coaches weren’t going to be able to go up to the press box or something. And it’s like ‘I’m gonna tell you how it’s gonna go here: We’re gonna play when we’re ready to play, and it’s not gonna be before our coaches are in the press box. And there’s nothing you’re gonna do about it. What’re you gonna do? Throw a flag? You gonna call the game? I don’t think so.’
He also shed some light on an outburst he had at the officials which can be seen on NFL Films:
“Then I look out there and I see my brother’s in the huddle with Kaep, calling the play. And it’s like ‘I don’t think he’s allowed to be out there.’ It doesn’t surprise me that he’s out there, of course.”
In reality, Harbaugh ran onto the field shouting at his brother to get back to the sideline, but you can’t blame him for toning down the account of it. He went on to reflect how great the overall experience was despite the bizarre nature of it:
“It was just pretty cool, looking back on it now. And I think even Jim feels that way, you know. It was a pretty amazing deal.”
Following talk of the game, he discussed a major player in it for San Francisco who coincidentally just signed on to become Baltimore’s number one wide receiver. Host Gregg Rosenthal asked if Jim gave John any special intel on the newest Raven Michael Crabtree, which John pretty much confirmed:
“Aw, yeah, he told me to sign him, man, he loved him. I talked to Jim about him and he’s like ‘Crab is the man, you know. He’s tough, he’s rough, he’s hard nosed, you know. You want this guy on your team.’ He loves Crab.”
Host Chris Wesseling then reminds Harbaugh that Jim once stated Crabtree had the best hands ever:
“Yeah, well I’m all for it man. I mean we need guys that can catch, last time I checked. Isn’t that the main, like, trait for a wide receiver? Catch the ball well?”
As a true a statement as that is, you’d think that with the way Baltimore has scouted wide receivers, he’s still yet to figure that out.
Regardless, this was a great interview with coach Harbaugh from Around the NFL, giving some insight on the past and future of the Ravens. Be sure to check it out if you liked what you read here.