Harbaugh looks back, but doesn’t regret decision making in loss to Eagles

September 17, 2012 | Luke Jones

Pollard’s return would be a welcome addition as the Ravens are faced with the challenge of slowing the New England passing game.

The Patriots will reportedly be without tight end Aaron Hernandez, who suffered an ankle injury in a surprising loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday. However, All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will be on the field as the Ravens will try to erase the memory of what Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek was able to achieve against their secondary.

Celek caught eight passes for a game-high 157 yards as linebackers and safeties struggled to find him in zone coverage and often didn’t appear to be on the same page. Though Pollard’s absence after the first quarter undoubtedly impacted the defense, Celek caught four passes for 68 yards in the game’s first 15 minutes, eliminating any notion that Pollard was the missing link in shutting down the tight end.

“It’s got to be addressed. We didn’t do a good job of covering him, obviously,” Harbaugh said. “It wasn’t so much that the tight end per say got free, it was more issues with our coverage with the way we handled our basic coverages. For different reasons, different coverages that are fundamental coverages, we got skewed a little bit. We got skewed chasing some routes, we got skewed chasing Michael Vick scrambling at times. It created imbalances in our coverage, and I think they took advantage of that with their tight end.”

It doesn’t figure to get any easier against Gronkowski and the plethora of weapons the Patriots have at their disposal.

Replacement officials review

Asked whether there was anything he or the other 31 NFL head coaches could do to influence the league’s current labor dispute with the regular officials, Harbaugh took the diplomatic approach after describing Sunday’s game as “chaotic” in nature.

“That’s out of our hands,” Harbaugh said. “We do have confidence in the league in the way they approach the officials, both in the short term and in the long term. We’ll trust them to take care of that, and we’ll focus on our jobs getting our teams ready.”

Notable players such as Flacco and veteran linebacker Ray Lewis criticized the officiating following Sunday’s loss, which drew criticism that the Ravens were deflecting responsibility for their shortcomings. Asked whether he had addressed the comments made by his players, Harbaugh quickly ended the opportunity to discuss the replacement officials any further.

“I’m not going to have any comment about it, whatsoever, in any way, shape, or form,” Harbaugh said. “And I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear John Harbaugh’s entire Monday press conference HERE.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    That’s one of the major problems with this coaching staff – they don’t take responsibility! This team has a propensity for beating themselves, primarily when it comes to half time change in strategy. After a very successful first half against the Eagles, they completely changed strategy, which led to them beating themselves. Throughout the Harbaugh-Cameron regime, that’s been a common theme. So, we can only expect more of the same…..

    (L.J. – To be fair, Philadelphia tightened up its press coverage and stacked the box more often in the second half, but you have to adjust to their adjustments and the Ravens weren’t able to do it. I didn’t expect Harbaugh to throw Cameron under the bus with any public comments, but you would hope he’s questioning the decisions behind closed doors.)

  2. joe of bel air Says:

    While I believe Philly is a very good team, Harbs makes their defense sound like the 2000 Ravens. If they are stacking the box to stop the run I would expect the receivers to get some seperation and if they are blanketing the receivers there should be some running room for RR certainly enough to pick up 1 yard. Since Joe was struggling the whole second half having him continue to throw in those situations didn’t seem to be very smart. Come on man, 6 times they had third or fourth and short yardage and they pass all 6 times. I am no genius and you may want to call me crazy but after failing to convert on 4 of those instances,I think I would have gone to the run maybe once down the stretch.

    (L.J. – Some haven’t given Philadelphia’s defense enough credit, but it’s difficult to fathom they wouldn’t at least try to run the ball in a couple of those situations.)

  3. joe of bel air Says:

    Maybe the simple answer is that both Harbs and CC are insane. To quote Ben Franklin: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Great job as always Luke.

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