Tag:John Harbaugh
Posted on: December 20, 2010 4:17 pm
 

Funny how time can work

Posted by Andy Benoit

There were two unique clock-related issues that probably went unnoticed in early games Sunday. One was pointed out by Tom Kowalski on MLive.com. Kowalski explained that Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams’ costly offside penalty on third-and-one in the closing minutes with the Bucs in field goal range and the game tied actually, in the end, helped Detroit:
C.Williams (US Presswire)
Williams gave the Bucs an easy first down and the Lions were forced to use all three of their timeouts while Tampa Bay ran the ball on all three downs. The Bucs kicked the potential game-winning field goal with 1:39 left in the game.

The Lions came back and tied the game on a 28-yard field goal as time expired, but consider this: If Williams had not jumped offside -- and the Bucs had converted a first down on third-and-1 -- the Lions would've had about 40 fewer seconds to try to tie the game.

After getting the first down, the Bucs would have let the clock run and, after their next three plays, the Lions would've had to let the entire play clock run because they wouldn't have enough timeouts. Because Williams committed the infraction after the official two-minute timeout, no time came off the clock.

The other clock-issue is far more subtle. With 0:12 remaining in the game and facing fourth-and-one at the New Orleans nine-yard-line, John Harbaugh elected to kick a field goal and extend Baltimore’s lead from three to six. The Saints, at this point were out of timeouts.

But think about this for a second: what does Harbaugh gain by extending a three-point lead to six? All he ensures is that New Orleans can’t kick a field goal to tie. But with such little time remaining – nine seconds after the field goal was kicked – and no timeouts for the Saints, there’s virtually no way New Orleans would have been able to attempt a field goal. Drew Brees would have to complete about a 55-yard throw to a receiver who would have to then get out of bounds…all in seven seconds or less (and likely five seconds or less).

The Ravens would have been better off snapping the ball to Joe Flacco and having him stand there for as long as possible before taking a knee and turning it over on downs. That would have left New Orleans with six or seven seconds and 90 yards to go.

Instead, the Ravens had to kickoff to Reggie Bush, and the Saints had more space in which to create a miraculous last play. They weren’t able to capitalize, of course, but that doesn’t factor in to the logistic of Harbaugh’s decision.

Harbaugh’s decision wasn’t wrong, per se. You could maybe even argue that he made the right call (it’s not completely black or white). But at the end of the day, a three-point lead is essentially the same as a six-point lead. So why risk having to cover a kickoff when you could force the Saints to try to go 90 yards on one play?

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Posted on: December 10, 2010 11:53 am
 

Hot Routes 12.10.10: Urlacher says Bears are best

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Brian Urlacher doesn't care for your precious "stats" and "win-loss records." He still thinks the Bears, even though they are 9-3 and the Patriots are 10-2 the best team in the country. "New England is the best team in the NFL, record-wise," Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. "But I feel like we're the best team, period. That's why I say record-wise." Urlacher also made reference to the Eagles being the "best" team in the NFL when they visited Soldier Field and how well that worked out for them. In short, Sunday's matchup should be fun as hell.
  • Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are having lunch together and apparently this is a big deal. If Sanchez doesn't return it means Ryan was REALLY mad about his performance against the Patriots. Or really hungry.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Ward accuses Harbaugh of fake handshake

Posted by Andy Benoit

Steelers receive Hines Ward, the reigning Dirtiest Player in Football (as voted by his peers) hasJ. Harbaugh (US Presswire) plenty of enemies, particularH. Ward (US Presswire)ly in Baltimore. Rod Woodson, Tony Siragusa, Chris McAlister, Corey Fuller, Bart Scott, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs have all been cited as members of Baltimore’s anti-Ward crowd.

Ward now thinks John Harbaugh can be added to that list.

“I don't think their head coach likes me," Ward said, according to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "I tried to shake his hand before we played them the last time. He gave me a fake handshake. He didn't even look at me. That's fine. Whatever."

Ward has been called dirty, cheap and other far worse things by Ravens players over the years. McAlister used an expletive to describe Ward. Scott said he wanted to kill him (he also admitted that there was a bounty on the wideout in an early-season game back in 2008).
Are there any members of the Ravens organization Ward gets along with?

"Ray (Lewis) and I are OK. We have the same agent," Ward said. "But the other guys? We're not so cool. Ed (Reed) and I have seen each other at the Pro Bowl and we didn't even speak."

You can bet Reed and his buddies will be speaking to Ward on the field Sunday night.

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Posted on: November 27, 2010 6:29 pm
 

Week 12 injury news and analysis, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings at Redskins

Two of Minnesota’s top receivers, Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian, are questionable. It looks like Rice will play, while Berrian will be a gametime decision. Rice returned last week to play in his first game this season, and he didn’t appear to have any complications with his hip. Meanwhile, Berrian has missed the past two weeks with a bad groin, and he missed practice Thursday (he was limited Wednesday and Friday).

Washington will be without RBs Ryan Torain and Clinton Portis – the former is out this week, and the latter was placed on IR this week – so Keiland Williams will get the start and will be backed up by James Davis.

Making matters (potentially) worse, No. 1 WR Santana Moss is questionable with a knee injury. Coach Mike Shanahan held him out of practice Thursday and then said he felt better Friday. He’ll still be a game-time decision, though.

Eagles at Bears

The big loss to Philadelphia is that CB Asante Samuel, who originally was listed as questionable, has been downgraded to out for Sunday’s game. Samuel was trying to shake off a sprained MCL, and earlier in the week, he talked about trying to play. But he missed all three practices this week and was ruled out today. Look for Joselio Hanson to take his place in the starting lineup.

The Bears have nobody listed on their injury report. Which seems kind of amazing. But true.

Packers at Falcons


Atlanta DE John Abraham, after missing last week with a groin injury, is questionable this week. If he doesn’t play, the Falcons should be OK in the run defense game (Atlanta ranks sixth in the NFL, while Green Bay’s running game is No. 21), but Abraham’s pass-rushing ability surely would help against Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Abraham, in his 11th season, is having a solid year, recording eight sacks.

Of the nine Packers on the injury, seven – including WR Donald Driver, LB Clay Matthews and CB Charles Woodson – are probable. Green Bay is a little beat up, though, in the secondary. Atari Bigby is out, and S Anthony Smith is doubtful with an ankle.

Buccaneers at Ravens

G Chris Chester, who missed last week with a bad case of cellulitis, is questionable and still could play. One reason Baltimore might not need to rush him back: Tony Moll was adequate while replacing Chester at right guard last week. Although Chester didn’t practice at all this week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that wouldn’t necessarily preclude him from playing if he’s healthy enough.

Backup S Tom Zbikowski is listed as questionable with a heel, but with Ed Reed healthy, his absence isn’t as big a deal.

Tampa Bay should be relatively healthy. Four of the five players listed on the injury are probable (DE Kyle Moore is definitely out).

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:58 am
 

Hot Routes 11.23.10: Wade Phillips is Tom Landry?

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Wade Phillips is probably a bitter dude right now -- not only did his team totally give up on him, but the guy (Jason Garrett) that Jerry Jones hired to help Wade seemingly feigned offensive incompetence for the entire time Wade was in charge, only to "discover" his genius after taking over the team. Anyway, Wade's not going out like that, yo. He said he'd take a defensive coordinator position in the future and also pointed out that he "went out with the same winning percentage as Tom Landry." 
Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Potential head coaches



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Wade Phillips getting the pink slip last week and with much discussion about the job security of Minnesota’s Brad Childress, it’s become obvious that it’s that time of the year when fans debate the merits of firing the coach of their favorite teams. That obviously equals bad times for coaches like Marvin Lewis, John Fox, Gary Kubiak, Norv Turner, Josh McDaniels and Mike Singletary.

Since Phillips is gone and Childress might as well be gone, let’s dive into the intriguing possibilities of who will be available – some long-time assistants who hunger for their first shot at a head coaching job, some former head coaches who wouldn’t mind getting back into the business and maybe a college coach or two who want to test himself at the pro level.

Many of the following likely will get interviews after the season when the current coaches who can’t work themselves off the hot seat clean out their offices. Until then, let’s speculate on who might be available.

10. Dick LeBeau: I know, I know. He’s probably not going anywhere, and his three-season stint as the Bengals coach wasn’t so good (12-33). But LeBeau has been such an innovator on defense, I’d like to see the Steelers defensive coordinator get another shot at running a team. It’s not going to happen, because he’s 73 years old, but there would be a ton of smiling faces around the league if he got another chance.

9. Rob Ryan: We need – I mean, we NEED – another Ryan brother as a head coach in the NFL. Aside from being the most entertaining coach out there today – publically, at least – Rex Ryan has done a wonderful job turning the Jets into Super Bowl contenders. Now, Rob Ryan, the Browns defensive coordinator, needs to get his chance. With the marked improvement in Cleveland, does Ryan deserve the shot? Probably not at this point. But how awesome would it be if somebody gave him a job?

8. Mike Zimmer:
He arguably performed his best coaching job of his career last year when, despite the death of his wife and of Bengals WR Chris Henry, the defensive coordinator led Cincinnati’s defense to the No. 4 ranking in the NFL. For as long as the Bengals have tried to improve their defense, Zimmer finally was the one to make it happen. Cincinnati’s defense ranks 15th this season, but his players respect him and his coaching style. At some point, you’d think a team will take a chance on him.

7. Jon Gruden/Bill Cowher: Yes, they’ve both got lucrative analyst deals with ESPN and CBS, respectively, and both seem to do a pretty nice job (although Gruden spends a little too much time being a little too positive on his Monday Night Football gig). It’s hard to tell if Cowher is serious about getting back into coaching, but it wouldn’t be hard to believe Gruden wanting to jump at the chance (those are the whispers you hear, at least). He just seems hard-wired for the long hours, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he were to return. For Cowher, it’d probably have to be the perfect job. And I’m not sure that kind of job will appear in the offseason.

6. Marty Mornhinweg: The 5-27 mark he recorded while coaching the Lions is pretty difficult to swallow. But one of the biggest achievements this season made by Mornhinweg – the Eagles offensive coordinator – has been the transformation of QB Michael Vick from a playmaker with brilliant talents to a complete quarterback that’s nearly unstoppable with his legs and his arm. The Eagles rank second in points scored and third in yards per game, and much of that is a credit to Mornhinweg.

5. Cam Cameron: It’s a testament to Cameron that the Ravens, previously known as a strong defense that couldn’t score points, are now known as a high-powered offense that has a more difficult time stopping opponents. Cameron has weapons (QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, a plethora of receivers), and he knows how to use them. It might not happen for a few more years, but Cameron deserves another chance (if a prospective owner can overlook the 1-15 season he had while running the Dolphins).

4. Perry Fewell: He had a taste of head coaching last season after the Bills fired Dick Jauron and made Fewell the interim. He led Buffalo to a 3-4 record – looking back on it, it was almost miraculous – but he and the rest of the coaching staff were fired anyway. Now, he’s the Giants defensive coordinator , and not surprisingly, they’re the No. 1 defense in the NFL in yards allowed.

3. John Fox:
He doesn’t have much longer in his current role, as the head coach in Carolina, and despite the team’s putridicity (?) this season, he remains a well-respected figure in the league. Why, you ask? Well, he led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, two seasons after a George Seifert-led Panthers squad went 1-15. Overall, he’s 72-65 as the coach in Carolina, and you can be sure Fox will have a job somewhere in the NFL. And quite possibly as a head coach.

2. Jim Harbaugh: If the Stanford head coach still wants an NFL job, he will have an excellent shot to get one. The brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, Jim – a 14-year NFL QB who made the Pro Bowl in 1995 – has done wonders in Palo Alto. The previous two coaches before Harbaugh went a combined 16-40, and in the past two seasons, the Cardinal has gone a combined 17-6. He already interviewed for the Jets job that Rex Ryan eventually won two years ago, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he beats out somebody else for a head coaching position.

1. Leslie Frazier: How long will it take before Frazier – perhaps the most respected assistant coach in the league - finally lands the head coaching position he so obviously wants? Well, considering his office is just down the hallway from Childress’, it would make sense for Minnesota to hire its current defensive coordinator when it fires Childress. For a defense that hadn’t been good in more than a decade before Frazier took over, he’s transformed the unit and made himself indispensible. No doubt about it, he should be a head coach.

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 10:31 pm
 

And speaking of the Ravens ...

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

FB Le’Ron McClain, who was accused by Dolphins LB Channing Crowder last Sunday of spitting in his face and who denied it before saying he might have done it unintentionally, will not be fined by the NFL.

Though there was video of the incident – seen in this post – the NFL concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to rule one way or the other.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is upset, because he believes there’s no question McClain spit in Crowder’s face. Meanwhile, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh is OK with the no-fine decision because he believes there’s no question the incident didn’t happen.

My question: why would Crowder make up something like that? The answer: he probably wouldn't.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:28 am
 

Report: Trevor Pryce signs with Jets

Posted by Will Brinson

The advent of "new media" means that occasionally, you get reports from odd places, like when we got the news that Trevor Pryce has signed with the Jets via Terrell Suggs on Twitter.

Aaron Wilson reports that Suggs, who protects his tweets, sent a message today indicating that Pryce, who everyone believed would simply re-join Baltimore in a few days, had signed with the Jets.

"kinda sad 2day. my boy trevor pryce signed wit the JETS!!!!!" Suggs tweeted. "happy for him but would rather he be on my team!!!!!"

Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun also reports that a league source has confirmed Pryce's decision to join the Jets. Now neither of those is as concrete as say, an official Jets announcement, but it stands to reason that Suggs, who is friends with Pryce, would hear about it first.

It also stands to reason that Pryce -- who once said of Rex Ryan that "I'm going with him" -- would be interested in joining the Jets, even though Baltimore already had discussions with Pryce's camp about bringing him back as early as Tuesday.

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