My yearly reminder that Harbaugh was a (much) better choice than Rex

January 03, 2012 | Drew Forrester


In what seems like an annual occurrence in these parts, we’re all once again reminded that the folks running the football team at The Castle know more than all of us…combined.

Not sure what I’m talking about, huh?

Two words for ya:  Rex. Ryan.

Four years ago – right around this time, in fact – people in Baltimore were clamoring for Rex to be named the Ravens top man. Players wanted it.  Rex campaigned for it, on my show, in fact.  The national media assumed Ryan would be the perfect fit for a Ravens club that was in dire need of having its swagger restored.

Fortunately, those in charge at 1 Winning Drive were smarter than everyone else.

All you have to do is look at what’s happened in New York this season to know how smart the Ravens were back in 2008.

Really smart.

They had a chance to hire Ryan, but decided instead to go with John Harbaugh.

Four playoff appearances later, we should all just say “Thank You…and go on our way” (that’s from A Few Good Men, in case you didn’t know).

The predictable meltdown at the Jets headquarters in the wake of their humbling 8-8 campaign rests squarely on the shoulders of their head coach, who – and I can’t believe I’m quoting our resident nutjob from Indianapolis, Merton – is clearly “all bluster and no muster”.

Did you see how the Jets handled losing on Sunday in Miami?  Players sulked on the bench, players bad-mouthed teammates to the media, players refused to meet with the press, players gave people the finger and stormed out of the locker room.

What a classy group.

All led by their head coach, of course, who champions that kind of behavior as some sort of merit badge for grit and toughness.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Ravens can put their feet up for a few days and rest before feasting on one of the playoff appetizers at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15.

If you’re not keeping count, I’ll do it for you:  Four years — and four post-season appearances from the Ravens under the guidance of John Harbaugh.  And while we’re at it, let’s tighten the knee pads a little bit and remind everyone that only ONE team in the entire NFL has made the playoffs four straight seasons.  Yep, the Ravens.  And John Harbaugh.  And Cam Cameron.  And Joe Flacco.

It should come as no surprise that the players in New York followed Rex’s lead and basically behaved like 5th graders at recess. That’s how Rex thinks “men” should be treated.  Hell, that’s hell Rex himself behaves half the time.  It’s a frat house in New York. All they’re missing at the Jets practice facility are bongs and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” and most of the players would think they were back in college.

Meanwhile in Baltimore, the players are held ultra-accountable by everyone from the owner on down.  The last guy to REALLY step out of line in the Harbaugh era was Chris McAlister.  Remember him?  He lasted exactly five games with John before the new coach sniffed him out as a malcontent back in 2008 and shipped him off to an early retirement.

Rex Ryan is getting precisely what he deserves right now.  Chaos.

John Harbaugh is getting precisely what he deserves, too.  A chance to go to the Super Bowl for the 4th straight season.

And football fans in Baltimore should once again thank the Ravens for knowing more about hiring people than all of us.


11 Comments For This Post

  1. BopperRik Says:

    Well said Drew! Couldn’t agree more.

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    Point well taken. I was one of those people who would have rather seen Rex get the job. But I also posted here in favor Jim Swartz.

  3. joe of bel air Says:

    Totally agree. Every time Rex opens his mouth only re-enforces my belief that Bischotti made the right call. Although there was a little luck involved in landing Harbaugh. Thank God Garrett turned us down. A Bill Walsh he is not.

  4. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    It’s not often that I agree so whole-heartedly with you, but you couldn’t be more right relative to Rex Ryan! The guy is a boor in every sense of the word! Somewhat of a shame, too, because he was an excellent defensive coordinator. I guess you could say he’s a “poster boy” for the NFL’s propensity towards the “Peter Principle” when it comes to hiring head coaches……..

  5. Al Says:

    Do you believe this will be Rex’s only shot at a head coaching job? Who would hire him now? Dallas maybe?

  6. John in Westminster Says:

    Good points. But how about these 2 words? “Jason Garrett”

    Sometimes, its better to be lucky than good (and I’m not saying Oz and the boys aren’t good, because they are very good). However, the fact that Mr. “Paralysis of Analysis” turned us down was truly a blessing.

  7. Marcus Halberstram Says:

    Yes, I will second the great luck we had by getting turned down by Jason “deer in the headlights” Garrett

  8. alvindo Says:

    I’ll admit I kind of raised my eyebrow when he was hired. I remember thinking, god I hope they didn’t just hire the guy they think “looked” like a head coach. But wow it’s hard to overstate what Coach Harbaugh, the coaches, and the players have accomplished.

    Reason 947 why the guys in the castle always deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  9. Rob Miller Says:

    Totally agree Drew. I also remember thinking to myself, “John Harbaugh. who the hell is John Harbaugh?” Boy, did Mr. Bischiotti and Ozzie ever hit a home run with this hire much like they (Modell & Ozzie) in picking Billick over Chris Palmer in 1998.

    I thank my lucky stars that we have an ownership and front office on the football side of town, that actually gets it. I wish King Peter would look out of the warehouse and get a clue one of these days–

  10. Dan Says:

    and Let’s not forget the precurser to that great hire,(Harbaugh) getting rid of Billick . A move I was in favor of. Yes, I know they won a Super Bowl while B was coach. That was because he had the good fortune of having Dilfer on the bench when his choice of QB turned out to be a disaster . Brian did have the good sense to insert Dilfer into the lineup , Ill give him that. Dan

  11. Alex Says:

    Mike Preston should read this! Great article Drew, thank you! Maybe I should send him a copy.

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