Return specialist Jacoby Jones was ready for the Vikings’ short-kick approach on his 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter.
In fact, special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg and his unit had practiced that particular return so much over the course of the week that it drew the playful teasing of quarterback Joe Flacco. Of course, the sixth-year quarterback made headlines two weeks ago with his public — and serious — criticism of the Ravens’ use of the wildcat offense, something Harbaugh hadn’t forgotten the day after the extra special-teams preparation paid off with a touchdown against Minnesota.
“We had worked on that particular return against that particular kick really hard all week, to the point where on Saturday, we worked on it one more time,” Harbaugh said. “Joe was back there complaining to Jerry Rosburg about why we’re working this thing again. Of course, I had a chance to chide Joe about that in the cafeteria today, which was great for me to have a chance to do that.”
It’s no shock that Flacco making his feelings so public about the novelty offense used against the New York Jets didn’t sit well with Harbaugh and the organization, so an opportunity to tease the quarterback wasn’t to be missed.
Harbaugh defends Ravens fans
Sunday was a difficult day for all-world running back Adrian Peterson as he was held to just 13 yards on seven carries before exiting the game in the first half with an ankle sprain.
In addition to taking issue with a few questionable calls by officials, the Vikings running back apparently was offended by some Ravens fans throwing snowballs during the game. The 2012 league MVP took to Twitter to express his displeasure, calling Baltimore “the worst fan base” he’d ever experienced.
Asked to respond to Peterson’s remarks, Harbaugh was dismissive of the criticism and complimented the hometown fans.
“Who doesn’t throw snowballs when it snows?” the Ravens coach said. “Maybe Minnesota, because they’re so used to snow. Maybe that has gotten old for them. I don’t know. What do you want me to say? We have the best fans in the NFL — I can tell you that.”
Jackson showing off for media?
Reserve cornerback Asa Jackson garnered attention in pre-game warmups Sunday for electing not to wear a shirt during a heavy snowstorm.
His head coach wasn’t aware of it until Monday and hypothesized why Jackson tried such a stunt.
“I didn’t see that,” said Harbaugh while laughing. “Well, Asa has got a pretty good physique, [so] maybe he wanted to show off for for all the reporters. I don’t know.”
Jackson, a California native, joined WNST.net Monday morning and explained that it was done to mentally prepare himself for the cold weather.