Here's what I know about John Harbaugh, new head coach of the Baltimore Ravens: He's bright, personable, knowledgeable and professional.
Here's what I don't know about John Harbaugh: Whether he can shape up a Baltimore Ravens club that is long on talent and short on team discipline.
So I contacted someone who should know. I called Andy Reid, head coach of the Eagles, and after 10 minutes of conversation I was sold: John Harbaugh is the right guy at the right time for Baltimore.
I'll let Reid explain.
"He'll demand respect just from his makeup and his knowledge," said Reid. "He'll hold players accountable on and off the field for their actions, and he won't back down from anybody. That's his strength. He's not afraid to get after guys."
Sounds good to me. Because if there was one knock on the Ravens and former coach Brian Billick, it's that some of Billick's players -- particularly on defense -- paid more attention to each other than they did the head coach.
Call it a lack of discipline, lack of respect, I don't care, but the prevailing opinion was that the Ravens needed a stronger voice in the locker room.
Well, now they may have it.
Of course, there's another question here, too, and it has to do with Harbaugh's experience. I mean, it's not exactly ordinary for a pro assistant to serve nine seasons as a special teams coordinator, graduate to secondary coach for one year, then make the move to the top without stopping at defensive coordinator.
It simply doesn't happen ... unless, of course, the candidate is extraordinary. According to Reid, Harbaugh is -- and the floor belongs to Reid again.
"The guy is personable, honest and will play to his players' strengths," he said. "He'll tell them if what they're doing is good or bad, and that's another reason I like him. Because he's a phenomenal teacher and because there's a great energy about him. He really has a great feel for it."
Harbaugh is the second Philadelphia assistant in two years to leave Reid's staff for a head-coaching position. Former offensive coordinator Brad Childress departed in 2006 to assume command of the Minnesota Vikings.
Like Childress, Harbaugh goes to a team where there are questions about the quarterback. In Minnesota, Daunte Culpepper was coming off a serious knee injury that kept him out of nine games in 2005; in Baltimore, veteran Steve McNair is coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of last season.