How Much Locker Room Turmoil Did John Harbaugh Have in Baltimore This Year?

How Much Locker Room Turmoil Did John Harbaugh Have in Baltimore This Year?

NFL

How Much Locker Room Turmoil Did John Harbaugh Have in Baltimore This Year?

There’s a terrific story on the MMQB on the beautiful relationship between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and how the best QB of all-time loves to be driven by the hard-charging coach. Belichick hammers Brady in front of the team frequently – you could even use the word berates – and the question became obvious as you read the story: Why don’t other coaches do this?

Well, that’s easy: Because it’s difficult to take shots at millionaires in front of the entire team. Or even in front of just the offense. And Tom Brady’s not just a millionaire, he’s a 4-time Super Bowl winner, with 3 MVPs! As I’ve written before, the greatest QB of all-time.

But then, tucked quietly in the story, is this:

The head coach of another AFC club tried a similar tactic with his team this season, showing the entire team clips of mistakes by a handful of his best players. One recently paid veteran responded by standing up in front of the room and screaming at the coach.

My first thought: The Baltimore Ravens.

Here’s why:

  1. John Harbaugh was on the hot seat this year. This story appeared on SI.com in December. He had to fire his offensive coordinator in November.
  2. Since winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens have missed the playoffs three of four years. It’d make sense if, to shake things up, Harbaugh attempted to rattle some cages.
  3. What other teams in the AFC could it be? So few coaches have seniority. No coach with limited experience would try this. (Can you imagine Chuck Pagano? Ha!)  The only ones that come to mind are the Bengals (Marvin Lewis attempting to do it to save his job?) or Steelers (while Pittsburgh was struggling).
  4. Remember this “long team meeting” in October when the team was struggling? I mean, they’d lost to the Jets. Said Harbaugh: “Just an opportunity to be very honest with one another, which we always are, and work on the things that need to do to get better.” Sounds like someone putting a positive spin on it.
  5. Even if the players hated it, and fired back at Harbaugh, they had a bye week to let it marinate. Then, they came out on and really beat Pittsburgh, leading 21-0 before a couple meaningless late scores from the Steelers made it 21-14.

Given the number of free agents the Ravens have, it’s going to be an interesting offseason in Baltimore.

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