The story of the Baltimore Ravens near “Mutiny” of head coach John Harbaugh hit the local media like wildfire on Wednesday morning.
Yahoo writer and columnist Michael Silver reported that on Halloween morning, fresh off the Ravens’ bye week, coach Harbaugh wanted the team to practice in full pads that afternoon. As in any locker room the grunts and groans were heard from several players including veterans Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.
Grumblings over the unpleasant news morphed into open challenges aimed at Harbaugh. Players challenged Harbaugh’s treatment of players and his perceived mood swings.
Can you blame Harbaugh?
Prior to the bye The Ravens were blown out by the Houston Texans 43-13 and the team went through a self examination process during the bye week. Could it have been the worst loss during the Harbaugh era that inspired the decision to go full contact?
As a head coach it is in your job description to shoulder the blame when things go wrong of course. The players though, do share a responsibility as well after all it wasn’t Harbaugh who completed just 21 of 43 passes, threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown; it wasn’t Harbaugh who allowed Arian Foster to run for 98-yards and two touchdowns; and it wasn’t Harbaugh who allowed Matt Schaub to pass for 256 yards and two touchdowns.
“It was practically a mutiny,” one Ravens player told Silver in his report.
“It came very close to getting out of control. But the way Coach Harbaugh handled it was amazing. He let people have their say, and he listened, and he explained himself, and pretty soon it was like a big group-therapy session. In the end, a lot of positive things were said. We didn’t practice in pads, but we came out of there stronger as a group.”
Perhaps the Ravens locker room should hold these “venting” meetings more often. Since that therapy session the Ravens have gone 4-0 including three road wins and one home win as well. Whatever was discussed apparently sparked the team when in fact it could have paved a way to an implosion and the beginning of the end of the 2012 season.
The Ravens are 9-2 and clearly most weren’t pretty wins. Yet they are still 9-2 with a chance to capture their second straight AFC North crown on Sunday, with a win over the Steelers and a Bengals loss.
Not bad for a guy who was hired to take over a roster filled with shining stars and big personalties with no experience as a head coach or offensive or defensive coordinator on any level. They never did wear pads that afternoon however that practice proved to be a valuable lesson for the Ravens’ skipper.
“They had some good points, and I had some good points. Other guys stood up and said some great things.
“To me, it embodied everything that you should have on a team.”
Photo courtesy of the Examiner.com