OWINGS MILLS — Coach John Harbaugh’s Monday afternoon press conference ended on an awesomely awkward note, with an exchange he had with a local radio personality.
Here’s the exchange:
Question: John, I understand your philosophy on week to week, but to use a military analogy — every battle within a war is important and you can’t move on from one battle to another without licking your wounds and going forward and trying to do things better. So week to week, you have to continue to use those building blocks going forward so you can’t –
John Harbaugh: But that really wasn’t the question. I’ve already said that like three times. I agree with that. So what’s your point?
Q: I guess my point is you’re saying you’re discarding this week and whatever happened –
JH: Did I say that?
Q: Well, no you didn’t say that, OK, you didn’t say that. But you’re moving forward to this week, but there are certain things about this week that are going to go forward into next week, and so…
JH: We’re going to do everything we can to eliminate the negatives and build and make more positives. If you’re insinuating that we just ignore what happened in the past, you definitely haven’t been paying attention to what we’ve done in the last four years of what we’re doing.
Q: I’m not saying that at all. I understand the desire to get past the loss quickly.
JH: It’s not our job to say (we’ll) lick everyone’s wounds for them. Licking wounds? No. We’re not licking any wounds. We’re moving on. We correct our mistakes and go practice on Wednesday. And get ready to play on Sunday. That’s what we do.”
The printed words read like it was said in an unpleasant tone. It was. That was the last question of the presser. Here were some other tidbits from it:
On comparing the losses to Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Seattle, considering all three teams had losing records at the time and all three losses came after big wins: “Every game stands on its own two feet. The comparisons people want to draw between the three games, you can draw that all you want. It’s all hypothetical, theoretical stuff. When you know football, you understand the schemes that you see and the situations you face are different every single game. That game, no, I didn’t see a lot more opportunities to run the ball.”
On what the kick return situation is with David Reed’s two-fumble performance on Sunday: “(Cornerback Lardarius) Webb’s probably our best guy if you look at it. But he’s our starting corner and our punt returner. You can’t put too much on any one guy’s plate. We’re looking for the best guy.”
On if there’s a psychological element to losing games to Tennessee, Jacksonville and Seattle: “I’m not a psychologist. I think what you do is look at football. You look at what you can do as a football team.”
On what kind of rating he would give the coaching staff when it came to in-game adjustments: “I’m not going to rate it. You rate it. I’m not getting into ratings. We’re getting into the Cincinnati Bengals.”
On if kicker Billy Cundiff’s struggles from over 50 yards will change Baltimore’s in-game approach to attempting long field goals: “It could, especially with the weather getting a little tougher. The operation has everything to do with it, I think it’s a team effort out there, the three guys in the operation and the protection. There were some things that made it a little tough on them. It’s part of it and it’s disappointing. He feels like he can make them. He made two 58-yarders in pregame, so we felt he had a good chance to make that kick. Those long kicks are never easy kicks and you never want to give up field position.”
By Jason Butt