Tag:John Harbaugh
Posted on: February 24, 2012 5:26 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 5:27 pm

Ravens unlikely to chase RFA Mike Wallace

Don't expect Baltimore to pursue Wallace off the field. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Though the Steelers now look much more likely to retain wide receiver Mike Wallace, there's still a fear among Pittsburgh-area football fans that Wallace, a restricted free agent, could be lured away by another team. That team, according to GM Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh, won't be the Baltimore Ravens.

When asked about the Ravens going after potential restricted free agents, Newsome stressed the difficulty involved in doing so.

"The problem with going after a restricted free agent is that at that point, the player and the agent have all the leverage," Newsome said on Friday at the NFL combine. "Because you have to do a deal that you don't think the other team is going to match. And then giving up a first round pick -- with the new rules, that first-round pick, the amount of money you have to pay over the next four years, it's not like it was in the previous CBA.

"So you have to factor all of those things in before you decide to do it. There are some teams that have two [first-round picks] this year, but they'll be thinking about all those other ramifications."

Harbaugh was more blunt than Newsome, simply pointing out that pushing money towards a free-agent wide receiver simply isn't "smart" given the Ravens financial situation.

'I don’t see us spending high numbers on a wide receiver," Harbaugh said. "We just don’t have the cap room. It wouldn’t be smart."

And then there's this: the Ravens already have a deep-threat wide receiver. Asked about the need for one, with Torrey Smith on the roster, Newsome offered only good-natured, sarcastic-laced rhetorical questions.

"Did you watch us play this year? Do you think we need a deep threat?" Newsome said.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 3:32 pm

Harbaugh wives on their NFL husbands, rivalries

By Will Brinson

One of the more enjoyable interviews we had at Radio Row before the Super Bowl was with Sarah and Ingrid Harbaugh, the wives of Jim and John Harbaugh. Not only are they wonderful women, but they complimented our video presence and brought us candy.

Skinny Cow candy, specifically, which is a) not as bad for you as normal candy and b) helping to raise money for Curesearch for Children's Cancer. (If you don't like eating candy to help prevent cancer in children, we don't want to be friends with you.)

Anyway, we caught up with them on Friday at Radio Row and chatted about what it was like being the respective spouses of two NFL coaches, how they spent Thanksgiving (during the Harbaugh Bowl), how they spent the Sunday of the Championship Games, and whether or not they were dreading the possibility of the Ravens and 49ers playing in the Super Bowl.

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 3:35 pm
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Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:00 pm

Pees promoted by Ravens, Cameron gets extension

Dean Pees and Cam Cameron will coordinate Baltimore in 2012. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The Ravens suffered a big loss when defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano left the team to take the Colts head coaching position, but they didn't waste any time filling the role as John Harbaugh announced on Friday that linebackers coach Dean Pees would replace Pagano as defensive coordinator. Harbaugh also announced that much-maligned offensive coordinator Cam Cameron would stay with the team and receive an extension.

As we've previously noted, defensive coaches promoted by the Ravens tend to do OK later in life: four of their five defensive coordinators (with the exception of just Greg Mattison) have gone on to head-coaching jobs.

"It’s an incredible opportunity to be a defensive coordinator for anybody in this league, but it’s especially humbling to be one for the Ravens,” Pees said Friday. “I’m not going to be the same as Chuck Pagano. You got to be who you are."

Cameron's situation is a more surprising. The Ravens ranked 12th in points scored in the NFL in 2011 and 15th in yards. They finished 10th in rushing yards in 2011 but only 19th in passing yards. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, especially considering how run-heavy their offense was at times.

Bigger concerns involve the play-calling, which was odd at times during the season, to say the least. But Harbaugh likes what he saw apparently.

"Cam has been our offensive coordinator, will continue to be our offensive coordinator," Harbaugh said Friday. "I think our coaches did a tremendous job this year."

The truth is the Ravens were just one Lee Evans foot (on a great throw by Joe Flacco) away from the Super Bowl. If Evans taps his toe before the ball's knocked out of his hands, we're not even having this conversation yet.

Harbaugh didn't provide any specifics about the nature of Cameron's extension on Friday. And he doesn't really need to unless it's a blockbuster of some sorts: Cameron will likely remain under scrutiny in 2011. Just like Flacco.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:14 pm

Looks like Cam Cameron will return to Ravens

CameronBy Josh Katzowitz

If a Ravens fan happened to be informed that one of the team’s coordinators would be fired from Baltimore before next season, that fan probably would have begun to rejoice that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron finally would move on somewhere else.

Unfortunately for those fans who wish Cameron would pack his belongings and go, the assistant coach to leave is defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who was hired Wednesday to take over in Indianapolis. Even worse news for those Ravens fans: despite reports that John Harbaugh might replace Cameron, the Baltimore Sun says the opposite is true.

Apparently, Cameron has begun calling his offensive assistants to give them their instructions for the next several weeks, most likely a sign that Cameron isn’t going anywhere.

Writes columnist Mike Preston: “Neither Cameron nor Ravens head coach John Harbaugh returned phone calls Wednesday night, but the source was confident that Cameron would serve in the same capacity with the only stipulation the Ravens hire a quarterbacks coach. Cameron served in both roles last season.”

NFL film-watching guru Greg Cosell recently said that the Ravens look like an offense imported from the 1960s and that their receiving corps was the worst in the league at getting open vs. man coverage.

"They don't do a lot to help their receivers win versus man," Cosell said. "I'm not going to defend [Joe] Flacco, but I think it's very difficult to … it seemed that last week [against the Houston Texans] the route tree was a go route and a screen. … Every play, there was one receiver to the right, and one receiver to the left, often two backs or two tight ends, and that was every play, it seemed."

While the Ravens defense was the biggest reason Baltimore earned a No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs this season, the offense was a little better than you might think. According to Football Outsiders, the Ravens were the 13th-most efficient offense in the league, and behind Ray Rice and Vonta Leach, Baltimore was the 10th-best running team.

But Cameron’s play-calling came under fire when he repeatedly overused the passing game, especially when the fourth quarter was winding down and the Ravens were leading a ballgame.

It even led Ray Rice to say this midway through the season: "I'm never going to be the guy that talks about touches, but obviously we know five carries is not going to cut it. I know five carries is not going to do us any justice, but we found ourselves so deep in the situation that we had to climb our way out. We were looking for answers. Whether it was running or passing, we have to find our way out of a situation."

Still, the passing game under Flacco suffered (19th in the NFL), and there was said to be tension between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator. Which means 2012 could be awfully interesting. And for some Ravens fans, possibly infuriating.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:03 pm

John Harbaugh speaks out on Scoreboard-Gate


By Josh Katzowitz

Since Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff badly hooked the game-tying 32-yard field goal that would have sent last Sunday’s AFC title game vs. the Patriots to overtime, there have been a rash of conspiracy theories about why Cundiff sprinted to the field as the play-clock wound down and looked out of sorts while missing the kick.

One report said Cundiff wasn’t paying attention and that, although the Ravens coaching staff called for him six times, he didn’t respond until it was almost too late. Another said there was a discrepancy between which down the scoreboard displayed and which down the officials were counting and that Cundiff thought it was third down when it was actually fourth down.

Some believed somehow the Patriots had cheated and forced Cundiff (by sheer willpower or telepathic mind bullets, I suppose) to blow the biggest kick of his career.

Frankly, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is tired of the conversation, which is why he released this statement from the Senior Bowl (via ESPN.com): "Any suggestion that the wrong down information was a deliberate effort to affect the outcome of the game is nonsense.”

Harbaugh might have felt compelled to act after Ravens kicking specialist Randy Brown made mention of Spygate during a recent radio interview and how you couldn’t automatically acquit the Patriots of cheating.

“The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand,” Brown told 94 WIP radio in Philadelphia. Asked if he thought the mistake was intentional, he said, “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?”

Said Harbaugh: “We knew what the down and distance were on our last series. The scoreboard was not a factor for us."

Hopefully, Harbaugh’s statement will calm down the conspiracy theorists. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:18 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:20 pm

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Cundiff isn't making excuses but admits there was confusion on the sidelines Sunday. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Not long after kicker Billy Cundiff pull-hooked a 32-yard field-goal attempt that would've likely sent the Ravens and Patriots to overtime, we wondered why Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh didn't use the team's last timeout. He said it never occurred to him, even though Cundiff was clearly rushed as he set up for a pretty important kick. By the time the ball was finally snapped, there was just one second remaining on the play clock.

A day later, there were reports that Cundiff "wasn't paying attention" which, frankly, seemed ludicrous.

Stefan Fatsis, who wrote a book on his summer as a training-camp kicker for the Broncos, spoke Monday with Cundiff who explained exactly what happened on that final, fateful play.

Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime, and instead sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl. 

Like most kickers, Cundiff has a routine on every drive that starts on first down and ends on fourth down, either with him on the field attempting a field goal or with the Ravens' punting. As he explained to Fatsis, because NFL sidelines are a crowded place, it's easiest to follow the action by watching it live on the stadium scoreboard. Except on the Ravens' final drive Sunday, the scoreboard read third down when, in reality, it was fourth down. Fatsis explains:

"Then, suddenly, chaos on the sidelines. Coaches were screaming — from the opposite end of the field to where Cundiff was thinking his third-down pre-kick kicker thoughts — for the field-goal unit. The play clock was ticking and Cundiff, as per normal, was back from the sideline and farther from the line of scrimmage than his teammates. As he was not expecting to go in yet, he had to run to get into position for a game-tying kick."

The confusion stemmed from an Anquan Boldin catch-and-fumble that was mistaken for a first down. (Boldin had fumbled the ball forward past the first-down marker. The rules state the ball must be returned to the spot of the fumble, which is what happened.)

According to the Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel, "[Terrell] Suggs said there was a discrepancy between the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium and what the officials were saying about what the down and distance was after Boldin’s fumble. The Ravens took shots at the end zone on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1 before bringing out Cundiff for a 32-yard field goal attempt."

The problem: what was actually second and third down on the field was shown on the scoreboard as first and second down, respectively. Hence Cundiff's confusion and the subsequent scrambling to get the kick off.

Which again raises the question: why didn't Harbaugh call timeout.

It doesn't matter now, of course. Cundiff, to his credit, isn't looking to shirk the blame. And his teammates, to a man, have his back.

"Every single guy who said something to me after the game, in the locker room, or on the plane" was supportive, Cundiff told Fatsis, including Harbaugh.

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 3:04 pm

Was Cundiff not paying attention before kick?

B. Cundiff missed a 32-yard FG to tie New England.By Josh Katzowitz

There’s been a mini-controversy brewing over why Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn’t call time out in the final seconds of regulation Sunday, just before kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have tied the Patriots and sent the game to overtime.

As my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson wrote, Harbaugh said it never occurred to him to call timeout and that Cundiff said, "It's a kick I've kicked probably a thousand times out there … I didn't convert and that's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."

Well, there might be an excuse after all, though it’s not coming from Cundiff and it places all the blame on him. According to TMZ, Cundiff, while practicing kicks on the sideline, was unaware of the Ravens field position and coaches were “furious” that Cundiff wasn’t ready to kick.

That could explain why you saw Cundiff sprint from mid-field to the 22-yard line with time running out on the playclock, and that could be why Cundiff so badly missed wide left on the game-tying field goal.

According to TMZ, “coaches repeatedly called for Cundiff -- at least 6 times -- to no avail -- he wasn't responding.  … Our sources say players and coaches are saying Cundiff was distracted ... not paying attention and not ready to immediately execute a kick.”

Maybe Harbaugh was furious at his kicker (just like the other dozens of times coaches are furious at their players during a game), but in the aftermath, he also was reassuring. "I just told [Cundiff] it's going to be okay," he said. "Everybody has a bad day ... Billy's going to be fine."

The Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday after Baltimore's Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining that would have tied the score. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms recap all the action. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com