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Harbaugh is Selling, Who’s Buying?

Street Talk Harbaugh is Selling, Who’s Buying?

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John Harbaugh has been incredibly successful during his 5+ years as the Ravens head coach. Even his harshest critics would have to admit that overall Harbaugh has done ok.

Yet there are times when Harbaugh says things that even his most ardent supporters take pause and wonder exactly what he’s talking about.

At times he’s condescending, other times arrogant.

Then there are times when you scratch your head and wonder if he really expects us to buy what he’s selling.

And still there are other times when he says something, seems pretty committed to it and you wonder if he took a little joy ride with Snoop Dog.

Today he was questioned about the team’s clock management, snapping the ball with 14-15 seconds on the play clock inside of 4 minutes while the Ravens were trying to burn the game clock.

Here’s ball coach’s response:

“I thought that was good. You have to make a decision really, when you want to go in your four-minute mode and when you want to milk the clock completely down. And what happens when you get out of a rhythm, when you go into the four-minute mode, you change your rhythm. And when you get out of rhythm, sometimes you do things like jumping offsides. They know the snap count, because you’ve run the clock down, so they can get off on your snap count. They don’t have to determine [that]. They know when you are going to snap the ball, so they get a great takeoff, and it’s much harder to execute under those circumstances.”

“If you get into that four-minute mode too much, and you milk the clock all the way down too much, you have less chance of being successful. The best clock manager is converting first downs. When you convert first downs, that’s when you’re going to run the most time off the clock. So, you’ve got to balance that with rhythm. We decided we were not going to go on the clock in the four-minute mode with 10 or 11 minutes left in the game; it just wouldn’t be smart. So, we were taking the thing down under 15, 12 and 10 seconds throughout the fourth quarter, and to take it all the way down, you’d make it tough on your offense to convert first downs.”

Does he really expect us to believe this? Is this some sort of pioneering approach to game clock management that many of the great signal callers in the league have somehow managed to overlook?

I hope those guys at the presser were wearing boots.

Later during the same presser, Harbaugh was asked if Ray Rice’s lack of productivity is injury related.

“You’ve got to look at the numbers, and definitely, it’s not the same. There’s no doubt about that. So, what is it? It’s injury or it’s not as much room to run, or it’s both. His health has been a factor, no doubt about it. He’s working hard to become healthier. That’s important. That’s a hip flexor. That’s a muscle injury, and it’s hard to predict exactly what impact that has, but you’ve got to assume it’s had an impact.”

So if Ray Rice’s health has been a factor since Week 3, then why for so long did the Ravens just go with just 2 tailbacks? Why isn’t Bernard Pierce featured? Why can’t they suit up Bernard Scott who has fresh legs?

Instead the Ravens keep sending Rice out there – a player who can’t break a tackle, can’t elude defenders, has no burst, is noticeably slower and can’t handle his blocking assignments.

It makes no sense.

Harbaugh needs a Clock Management 101 refresher course and he needs to play healthy players.

He owes that to the rest of his players and the franchise.

He owes it to the fans.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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