Harbaugh cannot wait for parade in downtown Baltimore

February 04, 2013 | WNST Staff


Super Bowl XLVII News Conference

New Orleans, Louisiana – February 4, 2013


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Opening Statement:

“Some of you know I had the pleasure of hosting John Harbaugh’s parents last night in our box. It was fantastic, no incidents occurred, but they were terrific. John has done a great job since he became the head coach of the Ravens, making the playoffs all five seasons as head coach. It’s only been done by two other head coaches and then to win a Super Bowl on top of it, it says a lot about his ability to coach. I also admire what he does off the field. He’s really a guy that loves the game of football with a passion, and he’s demonstrated that. So, Coach, congratulations on your Super Bowl victory.”


Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh Opening Statement:

“We hadn’t seen this (Vince Lombardi Trophy) since last night. We thought we lost it. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming out. It was quite a night last night, and I’m just proud of our team, proud of our coaches and our players, happy for our families, and most of all, happy for the people in Baltimore. We saw some amazing pictures last night of in Baltimore of everybody partying. That’s what makes it all great. Probably the best moment of the night was not the end of the game – maybe the most emotional part of the night – was when the National Anthem was being sung and they got to the ‘Oh’ part. It was when the crowd yelled out ‘Oh,’ and it was the loudest ‘Oh’ I’ve heard outside of M&T Bank Stadium. I got a little choked up by that. It just meant so much the fans were able to enjoy that. Congratulations to Joe. Thank you to the NFL and all the amazing things they did to make this week great for us and for us to get a chance to compete. We just appreciate all of that.”


(on losing a few games at the end of the regular season)

“I think our situation is kind of unique. We’ve been galvanized throughout. We won a lot of tough games, close games all the way throughout. We lost a couple tough ones. Philadelphia comes to mind. Seeing these guys sitting there. I don’t think it was so much that, that we needed to be reminded of anything, but it was lot of difficult things. We had a lot of injuries. We played some teams that were playing really well. If you look at our schedule, we didn’t play anybody that had nothing in place. We didn’t play anybody that was on the downside of their season. We played everybody at their best with the most at stake. If you look at the games we lost, we lost to Pittsburgh and they had everything at stake in terms of making the playoffs in overtime on a field goal. We lost to Washington on the road. They were making their playoff run and were their hottest and their best with everything at stake. They went down and scored 8 points in the last minute and kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime. Those were tough losses, Denver coming in and just rolling and the game kind of got away from us. They made some plays on us. That was probably our worst performance of the year. We bounced right back against the New York Giants and played our best game of the year in the regular season. The Cincinnati game was more of a game where we really were not playing anybody. I thought our young guys played really well. I was happy at that game and said so at the time. Through all that adversity, I think that adversity does help. It makes you tougher. It does callus you up. Through all that, we were improving. Even when we were losing, I felt we were improving the young guys were playing which helped drive the playoffs.”


(on how Jimmy Smith played and his future)

“I’m sure it will be a springboard for Jimmy, but how does it get any bigger than the Super Bowl on the last drive? I think he made the two plays at the end of the game to win the game. He played great. Jimmy has been practicing very well. He finally got healthy at the end the year there. He was at his best the last couple weeks. Jimmy is going to be, like we said all along, a great player in this league. I love him. He is really special.”


(on the difficulty of coaching against Jim  Harbaugh)

“That’s a great question. As you stood there on the field before the game, I kind of came to the conclusion that the only thing that would have been worse is if one of us wasn’t there. The only thing that would have been worse than that is if neither one of us weren’t there. It feels pretty rough. It’s really tough. The toughest moment of all was walking across the field. If you can imagine, you feel an incredible amount of elation with an incredible amount of devastation. Those two feelings went hand in hand in that moment. I’m still feeling it. That’s just reality. I’m proud of it. He’s the best coach in the National Football League. His record proves it over the last two seasons. What he’s done is just incredible. It hasn’t been done before that I know of. I’m just really proud of him.”


(on drafting Joe Flacco and his development into the quarterback he is now)

“It was a dinner that we had at a place called Tark’s in Baltimore. We sat down, and for a couple hours, sat and talked. Joe impressed me as a guy that was really determined to be really good. It felt he had a lot to prove. Joe came up the hard way. Joe is not a guy that had everything laid out there perfectly before him in college. He dealt with the adversity. I just felt like he was a guy that would do whatever it took to overcome whatever to be the best that he was going to be. That’s proven to be true. He’s a guy that no matter what happens, no matter what criticism he felt in front of him, no matter what disappointments he might have, he steps up and he bounces back and he comes back and goes to work. I think he’ll be the same with this success. I think he’ll be right back there in OTA’s and mini camps. He’ll be going to work just like, maybe, we had lost this game. He’ll be just as motivated and just as determined. That’s one of the things that makes him great”


(on his level of rest)

“You’re into the sleep thing. You’re kind of concerned with how much rest everybody got. (Reporter: ‘I saw pictures of you at 4:30 in the morning’). With my daughter Alison? We were dancing the night away to Mary J (Blige). It was great. We had a lot of fun last night and that was a great moment. It was just a fun time. Steve (Bisciotti) puts on a good party.”


(on whether he would ever re-watch the game with Jim Harbaugh)

“No, I don’t ever think we will ever watch that game together.  Absolutely not.”


(on how they recovered from the Denver loss)

“It’s funny; it looked the bleakest to everybody on the outside. If you guys go back and look at our quotes, and I know you do, all of our guys were holding firm, all of them understood that we were improving and what we were up against. I remember a team break after the Denver game. I think it was Sizzle (Terrell Suggs) who said ‘All of our goals are in front of us; we can accomplish everything that we need to accomplish, let’s just go to work.’ That’s what they did. Our guys never flinched. They never blinked thought that adversity. If that’s not a great lesson, if that’s not something we can draw on in the future as a team and as an organization, I don’t know what is. I’m proud of the guys for that. You at least saw in real time, when it was happening, I think we all believed, like Joe (Flacco) said, we all believed that we could do things.”


(on whether his parents would rather the brothers not coach against each other)

“Thanks to Roger Goodell for what he did for my parents. He had them in the box, along with tom and Joanie Crean. I didn’t know until Roger just told me, they didn’t say a word through the whole game. I think the week was great. They were under orders from Jim and I both to enjoy the week and have a great time. That was our instructions, and they did. They made they most of it and had a great time. I think it was great for them right up until kickoff, then it wasn’t so great. I think they are just happy that we are beyond it now, and they’re proud as can be. They are happy for both of us. There is not loser in the Super Bowl. We are kind of a ‘one-or-nothing society’ but that is so not right. Those are two great teams that just fought a heated battle, played a great football game, a historic football game, a really exciting game. We will be watching that on NFL Films for years to come. That’s what counts. That’s what is deserving of respect.”


(on the postgame and his interactions with his family)

“You can never anticipate it. I have not talked to Jim at all. You know we will talk at some point in time, there is no hurry. My parents I saw in the locker room, along with their kids and Tom and Joanie, after the game. They were elated for us, for the Ravens. They know all of our players and coaches. They were elated on the one hand, and they were just devastated on the other hand. I could see behind their eyes. It was both things. Emotions are incredible.”


(on if his parents attended the party)

“I just saw them at the stadium, and then they went back to the hotel.”


(on Eddie Robinson being a good role model and now his role as a great coach and role model)

“Eddie Robinson is a great role model. Not just for kids but for coaches everywhere. He treated players with respect. He treated the game with respect. He was all about competing. For kids I would say is faith. Believe in one another. Always dream big, and never limit your dreams. Just always know that whatever path you lay our out for yourself, God’s plans could be so much greater and so beyond what you could even imagine or plan for yourself. Trust that. Trust your own abilities. Trust your imagination. Trust our parents. Go to work and see what you make of yourself.”



(on his exchange with the officials after the blackout)

“The whole blackout thing, I way overreacted. It wasn’t anything to do with the blackout. The blackout had nothing to do with the game. The 49ers just outplayed us for a stretch. They played great. We did not, for a stretch of the game, but I was proud that our guys bounced back and finished. I was just concerned about some things that had to do with the headsets and coaches in the press box and if you have to bring guys down. It was really stuff that was never going to be an issue because they handled it so well. A total overreaction on my part and I feel bad about it. It was the one thing I look back on the game and I am disappointed in myself about, because I didn’t have very much poise in that moment.”


(on Ed Reed returning)

“We had that conversation yesterday on the bus ride away from the stadium actually. He and I both agreed that we want him back. I want him back, and Ed wants to come back. Like Joe says, you never know how these things are going to work out, but we are going to work like crazy to work it out because Ed’s a Baltimore Raven, and hopefully we can make that happen.”


(on the advantage the blackout created for the 49ers)

“It probably gave them an opportunity to get their balance. I’m not surprised. I don’t know that it would have taken that. I know the guy coaching them. I know how he competes. I know what he’s made of and therefore what their team is made of. There was really no doubt in my mind that they were going to do that at some point, and they were going to start throwing counter punches. They’ve got talent. They’ve got a great scheme and that’s what they did. It was really on us to stem the tide, which obviously we were eventually able to do, but man, they were throwing some haymakers at us, and they did a great job of that.”


(on what Jim is going through)

“Jim is a great competitor. Jim will do what he has always done. He will come out swinging. He will go back to work and work on the draft. Everybody in this room that has ever competed understands what we all go through when you lose a tough game or a big game. It’s tough because you put so much in to it, your heart and your soul. You feel for everybody. No one will handle it better than Jim Harbaugh. He is the best coach in football, and he will have that team roaring back again very soon.”


(on the fans that traveled and the parade waiting for them in Baltimore)

“Cannot wait. Cannot wait. I can’t imagine. With the sendoff we had when we went out there – I’ve never heard of a sendoff for the Super Bowl, maybe some other cities have had it, but we had thousands and thousands of people there for that. I can’t imagine what this parade is going to be like. The stadium, it really seemed like it was almost full after the game with the Purple Wall all around us when we were doing the trophy celebration. We have the best fans in football, we really do. I might be biased, but that’s OK. Our fans are incredible. We saw the pictures of everybody celebrating in the street. To Baltimore, congratulations, and to all of our fans everywhere, we are proud of you. Thanks for all you do.”