APOLOGY NECESSARY: Harbaugh a BIG Factor in Kubiak Hiring

John Harbaugh, Gary Kubiak

Back during the second season of this site’s existence when we operated as Ravens24x7.com I received a call from a friend who had a friend working in the NFL’s offices in New York.

The NFL employee shared the 2004 Ravens schedule with our mutual friend who then shared it with me. The information was golden because it had not yet been released to the public.

I posted the schedule on 24×7. It was dead on – flawless. Web traffic soared and in some ways it helped put us on the map of the World Wide Web.

Fast forward to the same time the following year – I got the call again.

Without blinking an eye I took the information and posted the schedule. I didn’t even know it was mathematically possible but every single week of that span of 17 games – including the bye, was dead wrong.

“Schedule-Gate” infuriated the Ravens because the bad information I put out there triggered a flood of calls to their switchboard, many of which were from irate suite holders who were promised an advance schedule for their corporate planning purposes.

After receiving some initial reprimanding from the Ravens I was told, “If you think you have a story give us a call. If you’re wrong, we’ll tell you that you are wrong. If you’re right we’ll either say nothing or we’ll confirm your discovery.”

It was then that I decided that 24×7 would not aspire to be a news breaking entity. The potential juice wasn’t worth the squeeze and that is particularly true in this, the age of social media when breaking news has but a few fleeting seconds of value.

I bring this all up because yesterday something similar happened.

Information was shared with me from a source that I believed to be reliable – information about the hiring of new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. I ran with the information and pieced it together with some other discoveries and experiences, the end result of which was this column Humbling Harbaugh.

Today I received a message from a member of the Ravens front office.

“Your blog is crazy.”

My heart sank and flashbacks to “Schedule-Gate” raced through my mind.

Suddenly all of the harsh criticisms and biting insults I received on Facebook, in the comments section of the blog and even our own message board were given more credibility.

Suddenly I was guilty of shaping rumors, speculation and conjecture into a confidently written column that now sounds like nothing more than the work of an “over-exuberant fan” as MarkS so eloquently explained on our message board.

Suddenly I was wrong!

Naturally I wanted to find out what really happened. And here is what I’ve learned from this second source – one that is as certain as death, taxes and the I-told-you-so’s that will follow this self-flogging…

Ozzie Newsome was never involved in the coaching discussions (regarding Kubiak)*. Steve Bisciotti wanted to hire Kyle Shanahan. Seeking feedback on Shanahan, John Harbaugh called Rick Dennison with whom he had a previous relationship. During that conversation Dennison shared that Gary Kubiak wanted the Ravens OC job and only that job.

The Ravens, according to the source, were under the impression that Kubiak would not coach in 2014. Dennison quickly dispelled that notion and soon thereafter Harbaugh called Kubiak.

The decision to hire Kubiak was completely John Harbaugh’s.

The rest is history.

Now it is possible that Jim Hostler was Harbaugh’s guy prior to that due diligence call on Shanahan. Hostler’s departure from the organization on Wednesday to accept the position of Senior Offensive Assistant with the Buffalo Bills may suggest as much, but that’s just a connect-the-dots kind of guess.

Many have read into John Harbaugh’s body language during the presser announcing the hiring of Kubiak and Dennison and concluded that it suggested he wasn’t on board with the moves. I thought so too.

On the heels of this new information Harbaugh’s remorseful and somber demeanor at the presser probably stems from the morbid anticipation of having to say goodbye to other coaches. Those changes affect families and they alter lives. That has to weigh on the fiercely loyal conscience of John Harbaugh. This too is speculative but it seems to fit.

So there you have it.

Perhaps you believe me, perhaps you don’t. On the heels of my shoddy handling yesterday of information gathered from a flawed source, I wouldn’t blame you. But this information isn’t flawed. But clearly that’s up to you to accept as the truth.

At the very least what I hope you accept is my apology. Much like “Schedule-Gate”, this is a lesson learned and I owe it to you and those who work with me to be better. I’m sorry.

I would also like to apologize to the Ravens. You taught me a lesson all those years ago. Today you’ve contributed yet another lesson.

And to John Harbaugh who over the past couple of days made some very difficult decisions, I apologize for dismissing your instrumental role in bringing Gary Kubiak to Baltimore.

This week you’ve practiced what you’ve always preached to your players – TEAM!

You put the greater good in front of your attachment to coaches to whom you’ve said goodbye.

As Joe Flacco might say, “That’s powerful stuff man!”

Now if you will kindly excuse me my order of humble pie has just arrived.


* Added at 10:25 AM to clarify the point

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

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. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

88 Raves on “APOLOGY NECESSARY: Harbaugh a BIG Factor in Kubiak Hiring

  1. Joe on said:

    Tony, I said in the thread about this that I respected you a lot. Unless this article is a sarcastic quip, this proves exactly why I respect you. It takes a big man to admit a mistake. While I think there is a lesson here on how much to believe a source vs another, it’s pretty interesting to hear that take on it.

    One thing I read today that I want to share on here was a blog Mark Zinno wrote about what went down. And to me, it’s VERY informative. The Ravens kind’ve brought this kind of speculation on themselves, because they choose to try to mislead the media, or keep things hidden, and thus, local media have to make guesses and theories about the scoops.

    Just take a read and see if you agree: http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/01/29/mark-zinno-the-ravens-failed-media-101/

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Joe, this was written with humility and sincerity. The humor was injected admittedly to make the self-flogging a little less painful.

      • Deejei on said:

        I was one of those who were very critical of your article yesterday but I accept your apology…. Now go enjoy your pie…..and if you can please share with Mike Preston and all those radio presenters from that certain radio station, we all would appreciate it…..Here is to better days….Long live russellstreetreport…my trusted source of Ravens news…..!!!!

      • Marcus on said:

        Tony, the one thing people have to say about you, is that you are an honest man. You admitted your mistake and corrected it. You have to have respect for someone like you. Keep up the good work and next time, double check your sources!!

      • Mike Z on said:

        I used to write for the Raven’s Roost on the now defunct Most Valuable Network (MVN). I was very opinionated in my writing. But I always tried to stick to facts, which is why I gave you hell on this.

        Mad respect. Character vs. Personality. Everyone shows us their personality on a day by day basis. This is who they want us to see. But, every once in a while their true character seeps through. I see this as your true character, all else is personality. Kudos. Teach a class, first student: Mike Preston

      • Rob on said:

        Tony, I have to agree with others on this blog – many people reported the search incorrectly. Many journalists and media members make mistakes daily in their reporting. Very few make a point to identify their flaws and apologize to the people whose stories they impact. Thanks for the fine reporting and keep up the good work.

  2. Thomas on said:

    There was clearly awkwardness in the press conference, not only evident in Harbaugh but also in Kubiak and Dennison when questions about “the process” were asked. May have been that they knew about the speculation that was going on and that it was embarrassing for Harbaugh.

  3. Ebuhuel on said:

    apology accepted, it indeed takes a big man to fess up to a mistake. Allthough there was a opening for the story to develop the way you posted and it wasn’t farfetched. Keep up the good work.

  4. Chad on said:

    Good job TL. Now you have to go get that guy back who said he is leaving the site :) Hopefully he sees this! Alot of people here and in the big networks are making a huge deal about the “awkwardness” Harbs, Kubiak and Dennison had during the press conference. If anyone has had to ever fire someone at work it is the toughtest thing a manager has to do in their career. Sitting there Harbs knows the TE coach is gone, Hos is likely out and a myriad of other changes are coming. So that staff not only has to fire people, they have to change and change is very difficult Yes the body language could have been better but Harbs made the right call and those guys were just showing some emotion because they know the task at hand wil be very daughnting which will change lives of people close to them. Cannot wait for the season to start. GO RAVENS!

  5. I Touchdown There on said:

    You are awesome, Tony! Not everyone can admit mistakes, and I respect you more for doing so! I love this site and read it daily…along with the occasional message board post. Go Ravens!

  6. Tim on said:

    Thanks for apologizing and providing the correct and very interesting information on how this went down. Now, if someone would just muzzle that idiot Preston over at the Sun, or at least set him straight….

  7. Ruth Rice on said:

    I love your articles even when I don’t agree with your perspective or criticisms. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Just like everyone is entitled to making mistakes. We all make them but you did the right thing by acknowledging the mistake and presenting new information. You are, after all, only human. Cut yourself some slack. And those who want to leave this site because they have never made a mistake, let them cast the first stone

  8. Edgarallanpro on said:

    Thanks for posting this Tony.

    I never understood why people thought Steve Biscotti would change his hands-off management style (in all his businesses, not just the Ravens) so drastically, undercut one of his two most important managers, go back on his own statements from the week before about letting John handle this year, and retain a coach he clearly didn’t trust to do the most important part of the job – personnel.

    It didn’t make sense.

    I can get the rush to publish though, and not taking a step back and a deep breath before making a snap judgement. At least you have the honesty and integrity to publicly retract and apologize for the erroneous article.

  9. Fran the Fan on said:

    Great job, Tony. You went with what you considered best information and unfortunately got bit by it. I went with your take because I know how loyal (sometimes to a fault) Harbaugh is with his assistants. You were not the only media person to make that erroneous call. Mike Preston wrote the very same thing, emaphasizing that the weight of the front office came down on Harbs. I wonder if we’ll see a retraction from him. I won’t be holding my breath.

    • Edgarallanpro on said:

      Mike Preston is not a journalist. He is a columnist – and he makes that VERY clear in his radio stuff.

      To him, his job is to get page views NOT report the truth.

      He is not always wrong, but he is ALWAYS looking for an angle to rule people up to generate click throughs.

  10. Goldie on said:

    We love you Tony, Right or Wrong.. you keep us up to date and do a great job!!!
    I don’t always agree with you but love this forum. You manned up on this one!!

  11. Rick S on said:

    I do believe that Harb’s instinct was to promote his guy from inside the organization. I also believe there was significant pressure from Ozzie and Biscotti to conduct a thorough search. The details of exactly how the Ravens hired Kubiak are not that significant to me. It appears the team has achieved a better result in its OC search than where we appeared to be headed. I do not believe we would have ended up with Kubiak as the OC without Biscotti’s “guidance” in the process. So the process worked, and that’s what counts. Now let’s hope that this restructured coaching team can bring us back to the promised land.

    • CLV on said:

      Agree completely. It’s a team decision. When Bisciotti decides that the coach is not capable of making the final decison, he’ll find a new coach.

  12. RJ on said:

    Well done, TL….enjoy your humble pie. Ironically, you may have actually enhanced your credibility with your readers through this mea culpa.

  13. JerryB on said:

    An HONEST opinion is just that and nothing more! It’s when facts are twisted that people get into trouble. Many of us had opinions about this hiring, including you, Tony, which turned out not to be the case. It could be argued that the Ravens decision to keep the information to themselves contributed to the speculation, but that’s their prerogative. So, no need to beat yourself up over it, in my………. OPINION!

  14. Mark on said:

    Thanks for posting this column. Well done.

    Did your misinformation source tell you why he relayed his speculation as being fact to you? If he is a Ravens employee, is he on borrowed time?

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Mark, it is a long-standing relationship and it was genuine concern on his end for me. I should’ve consulted him to begin with. I didn’t use good judgment and it represents a great lesson learned. I hope you understand that’s all I can divulge.

  15. Brian Adams on said:

    Respect! Thanks for writing this, though it still makes me wonder about your anonymous sources. This sounds very similar to the Kevin Byrne article. Why did you believe this source but not Kevin?

  16. Larry on said:

    Tony no apology needed, you are a man of integrity unlike some in the media. It takes a real man to admit if he was wrong and try to correct it, which is what you did. I believed all along that the truth was closer to what the Ravens were saying all along. it flows much better then Preston’s piece that Biscotti came in and told him to hire Kubiak. Keep on providing us with all the good info you do.

  17. bullseye on said:

    Sorry Tony I’m not buying this retraction. Sounds like the Ravens PR machine spanked you and you retracted your claims so that your access to the Ravens wouldn’t be negatively impacted. Independent media guys that don’t care about ticking off the Ravens – i.e., Preston and Vinny Cerrato – said the same thing you originally did. Each cited they’d been informed by 100% reliable sources – like you (until you backed off after the Ravens reached out to you – so now they gave you a more reliable source? please..). Why are the Ravens so defensive about how this thing went down (reaching out to you, Kevin Byrne’s spin on baltimoreravens.com)? When you go to these lengths to defend something, it’s like “thou doeth protest too much”. Cerrato said based on what his sources told him, and the fact that he’s been a GM and experienced these kinds of situations himself, he’s 100% sure that Steve and Ozzie walked John back and pointed him to a more qualified candidate than Hostler, like Kubiak. Had they not done that and John had his way, he was going to promote Hostler. And the media and fans would have been outraged. It would have been a PR disaster, not to mention that John’s job would likely have been riding on the outcome. John wanted to be loyal to his guys. It’s understandable – but this kind of loyalty was not in the best interest of the Ravens. John couldn’t see the forest for the trees, and Ozzie and Steve pointed him to the right answer.

    • Edgarallanpro on said:

      Ah yes, the old ‘I believe something without evidence, so the more evidence you show me that I’m wrong, the mor obvious it is that there’s a CONSPIRACY’ argument.

      What would the internet be without THAT!

  18. bullseye on said:

    One other thing – a point that makes no sense in your retraction – that Ozzie Newsome was never involved in the coaching discussions. That 100% contradicts what Ozzie said at the State of the Ravens press conference when he said him and John work as closely together on coaching matters as any GM-head coach in the league. Secondly, John said as part of the thorough process he conducted that he’d been leveraging recommendations from the scouting organization on potential candidates. Those are Ozzie’s people. Third, Steve made clear to the villainous Preston – the one reporter Steve personally invited into his office after the State of the Ravens press conference to send some clear messages – that he could allow John and Ozzie to fail once, but he didn’t have to be patient enough to let them fail twice. Given that, you’re telling us that Ozzie had NO participation in the coaching discussions! Even though this was a CRITICAL hire for Harbs and the future direction of the Ravens organization, who have not had an offense ranked in the top 10 for SIXTEEN years AND just signed a $120M deal with Flacco a year ago, Ozzie was not involved in the discussions? To quote Kevin Byrne, PLEASE!

  19. Mike on said:

    Nice of you to apologize, but the damage is done. To title an opinion piece (poorly sourced) “Humbling” anyone is inflammatory and self-righteous. Then to respond as arrogantly as you did to the responses on the article compounded your error. This was a completely punk opinion column and your apology is not going to get you out of the Mike Preston category. Very disappointing. I really expected more from you and this site.

  20. Tubes on said:

    Tony, you’re the man! Every bit of information you bring to the table is always helpful and your efforts are always applauded! Best source for Ravens football hands down!

  21. bullseye on said:

    To my points regarding Ozzie’s active involvement in the process – don’t take my word for it – Kevin Byrne cites multiple events in his rebuttal on Baltimoreravens.com where Ozzie was collaborating with Harbaugh – including getting input from the scouts, helping to bring in Kirby from Pittsburgh for an interview, calling Rick Smith re: Kubiak, and generally just bouncing ideas off Harbaugh. Tony, your sacred source contradicts Kevin Bryne’s account. Que pasa?

      • Mike on said:

        Tony – you are falling back into the same trap that caused this problem. You are making a statement of fact. The better way to address this would be to say ” My information tells me that Ozzie was not involved”. I seriously doubt this decision was made without Ozzie’s knowledge. Therefore he was involved. It makes you sound arrogant. You said you learned your lesson (for the second time) apply the lesson you learned.

        • Brian on said:

          I can’t speak for Tony, but I’m guessing what he is saying – based on what he wrote – is that Harbaugh was the one who pursued and hired Kubiak. Of course, Ozzie was in the loop the entire time (that goes without saying!), but “Ozzie not being involved” is just said to indicate that there was no pressure from above to hire Kubiak. Once it was determined that Kubiak was available/interested, Harbaugh pounced.

  22. Brian on said:

    As a reader and a Ravens fan, I appreciate Tony’s humbling admission and apology. I had just dismissed him as a Harbaugh Hater, but I see now that the situation is/was more nuanced. I apologize, as well, for criticizing Tony in the past for drawing conclusions from what he believed to be truth.

  23. B.S. on said:

    Plagiarizing a story (which is what you did) is dangerous. I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson. At a real newspaper or magazine, you’d not only be fired for what you did, but you’d probably never work in the industry again, apology or not. Also, now that you have indirectly outed Mike Preston and taken issue with his story about the saga, I wonder how your relationship with him will change?

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Plagiarizing? I just read Mike’s piece. Other than the premise that the Kubiak hiring wasn’t John Harbaugh’s the columns are nothing alike. Ever wonder if we both got the same bad piece of information?

      Mike had nothing to do with my piece so that whatever he has to deal with regarding his column is on him. He’s a big boy. I’m sure he can handle it.

      Thanks for you time BS…

  24. Alec on said:

    Tony- very sincere apology. I salute your honesty and integrity- rare in journalism these days.

    Harbaugh rightly deserves credit for making the right selection in the end. But, I do think it is worthwhile pondering why the Ravens assumed Kubiak would be sitting on coaching sidelines in 2014. Sure, he might because of his health, or because he wanted a HC position, or whatever other reason, but a simple phone call would have made that clear. The question is why didn’t John Harbaugh call Kubiak 3 weeks ago?

    Kubiak was the ideal selection for the Ravens for so many reasons- not the least of which is his extensive track record of success as an offensive minded coach. But beyond that, Baltimore is the ideal place for Kubiak to succeed- and to do so quickly. The Texans philosophy as a football team is very similar to the Ravens, both teams have built player rosters that mirror that similar philosophy, and both teams have a similar approach on offense. It would be so simple for Kubiak to transfer his existing scheme and playbook to Baltimore and expect success, and now he’s got Flacco instead of Schaub, and a team that is already built to be competitive in 2014, and one of best front offices in football. Clearly Kubiak understood all this 3 weeks ago and was probably waiting for the Ravens to call. I wonder why it took Rick Dennison to put that possibility in John Harbaugh’s head at the 11th hour?

    Coach Harbaugh clearly had reservations about both Shanahan and Hostler, and picking Hostler would have put his own job at risk if the offense didn’t improve. Perhaps foreseeing an unpleasant scenario unfolding in Jan 2015, Harbaugh decided to make that final due diligence call to Dennison.

    In the end the right decision was made and John Harbaugh deserves credit. But even more so, I think the selection speaks to how well the Ravens work as an organization.

  25. Rxdoxx on said:

    I wondered, filed what I read with a grain of salt, but stayed out of it except for the ways I have read Bisciotti way of doing things which matched what a friend was telling me who worked far under him in years ago.

    Respect for you, Tony, has gone up even higher. Appreciate your character even more now.

    I think this time you hit very close to the truth with the weight of saying goodbye, one thing we have seen from Coach Harbaugh is a concern for individuals. He probably wished he didn’t wear that on his sleeve as much as he does, but it is so much a part of his character, and we (myself included) were mis-interpreting it.
    That is where your apology has brought my thoughts to, and I thank you

  26. RAYVENRAYG on said:

    Good Man Tony, I’ve been reading your articles for years and appreciate many of them. This comment below I wrote yesterday was not directed to you but to the many others with an axe to grind for John Harbaugh, because despite the first 5 good years he gave us as coach he failed them by not being perfect in season 6. Your apology today tells me you are not quite the same as those people. Keep up the Ravens fan support.

    Having read the article from KEVIN BYRNE, I’m convinced that Steve did not interfere and John performed a very well thought out effort to find the right guy. Being he was only a Special teams guy before being hired as our head coach he wisely knew he was not the offensive mind to make a snap decision for a position this important. We got the best available guy as the end result of his actions. So everyone who has jumped at the chance to beat down JOHN to “humble him” appear to be the ones with their own axe to grind and feel powerful in spreading their glee that he was overridden by OZ & STEVE. Now that that things are falling into place lets stop the petty bickering on how it went down and give JOHN the chance that STEVE & OZ gave him. Let his performance this year (2014) tell the tale. Since GARY will be the one counting on the coaches he needs to run the offense he deserves the right to select them because his performance depends on them buying into his direction. They’ll all be RAVENS once they are hired so put that newly ground axe in the tool shed and stop trying to bury it in JOHN’s back. Build us a winner JOHN – you have plenty of fans in this town some of them just don’t know how to show it.

  27. RAVENBEAUT on said:

    WHAT A SINCERE, PROFESSIONAL, UPSTANDING APOLOGY FOR SCREWING UP. Not only is your apology accepted, you should be teaching “aplogy/Man-up 101″ thruout the NFL, esp to the ref’s (who smugly earn those convict stripes as their calls, non-calls, and other screw-ups are absolutely criminal) who never accept responsibility and repeatedly blatantly cost teams and players stats, wins, playoff berths, playoff wins, etc while rewarding certain players and teams unjustly with same…They surely need cobnsequnces and to learn the art and act of the “mea culpa”

  28. Brian on said:

    I moved to NC and my Ravens news is only found online. I don’t even care that you were wrong yesterday. You corrected it today so all is good.
    There is no place else to go but RSR to get latest and breaking news (that I know of) about whats going on with our Team. So if it sometimes is not all factual at least I am able to get something and know that if corrections need to be made later as more facts come out that they will be.
    Keep up the good work.

  29. bullseye on said:

    Unless one has first hand knowledge by directly observing and hearing the events, none of us can know what actually happened. Multiple media guys (Tony, Kevin Byrne, Preston, and Cerrato) have presented their opinions. Tony, after being contacted by the Ravens, has elected to change his perspective. Kevin shares his perspective as an insider, but all his info comes in the form of quotes from interviews he did with the involved parties AFTER the hiring. Kevin did not claim to be in the cross-hairs when everything was actually going down. He pieced together a story that fits what the Ravens want people to believe. That’s his job. Fair enough. Preston and Cerrato think their job is to share their perspectives based on information they have faith in. Neither Preston or Cerrato or Tony of the fans can actually KNOW what happened. We all take in what we see and hear, and draw our own conclusions. So I am not claiming that I know better than anyone else, I’m just sharing my point of view and the logic for it. My hope is that Tony, Preston, Cerrato, and any other media guy does the same, and doesn’t compromise to stay in the “good graces” of the Ravens brass. But that’s an individual choice and I respect the individual’s right to choose. Best to all.

  30. Russ Clarke on said:

    Everyone makes mistakes, I too thought that press conference seemed a bit wonky. They all seemed uncomfortable so it was easy to think this was not a Harbaugh decision. Nice retort love reading your blog.

  31. Bruce_Almty on said:

    Glad to see the fighting in the family has ended amicably. I was hard to read 2 so contradictory reports about the same event.
    The Raven Nation is whole again. :)

  32. Orphan45 on said:

    I will now follow this guy to the gates of Hell. He is man enough to say he was wrong and even more man enough to retract what he wrote based on FACTS. This is something that HACK Mike Preston would NEVER do. Fat Bastard. Anyway, great post, great article and the bigger man.

  33. Steve on said:

    Tony ,

    Thanks for your article and your correction/ apology in light of new information. Did your source have any information regarding the retention and promotion of Juan Castillo ? It did seem odd to me that the Castillo promotion came almost a week before the OC announcement. By most accounts, including your own, the Kubiak deal came together very quickly. It seems odd that Harbaugh would promote a coach to that position without discussion with the OC. That would not be possible unless his intended OC was already in the building and in on the decision (Hostler). Is that common in the league or am I way off in my assumptions ?

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Nothing concrete so I’ll speculate on that one…Castillo’s style should fit in well with Kubiak’s approach to offense.

  34. B Diddy on said:

    Tony you got my respect.

    Some of you critics are impossible. you blast him for posting the story yesterday, then when he gets updated information he apologizes and issues a retraction and you still have a problem with that? Smh

  35. Alonzo on said:

    Hey Tony guess what? As someone who’s also made big mistake or two (or three!!!) during my lifetime, I’m not coming down hard on anybody. I understand and respect all the writing and info you’ve brought us about the Ravens. We’re all fans who love being in on every aspect of the Ravens, big or small. You just got carried away in the moment. But your track record as being a ravens enthusiast, promoter and reporter for all things ravens related still holds up in my eyes.

    Love your insights and will continue to love russellstreetreport. Keep it going!

  36. GG on said:

    I applaud you, good sir. I admit to being frustrated with your column, enough that I many not have frequented here for awhile, but I admire what you have done today and freely accept your apology. I am glad that someone posted a link to it. Like others have said, everyone makes mistakes… once those happen it is only how you move on from them that matters and you have done a great job. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

  37. Freddy on said:

    Great column and apology Tony! It’s actions like this that make this site a must read for the intelligent Ravens fan. Unfortunately, you are going to get the haters, conspiracy theorists, and just plain dumb readers responding to whatever you write.
    One thing that many in this particular group of people never seem to be able to explain is, if Steve B. and Ozzie were so adamant against the hiring of Hostler all along, do they really think that they would have waited until the proverbial 11th hour to put the brakes on his potential hire? Don’t these people realize that this would have no doubt been made clear from the beginning?

  38. Wanda on said:

    Thanks Tony, for your clarification & apology. I only wish all columnist would own up to their mistakes, such as you. I never believe a word Mike Preston says.

  39. Red Raven on said:

    Very comendable article. I love this site and I have even more repect for you. That was a very wise and mature thing to do. Most people would have said oh well and moved on, You have the integrity to stand in the face of an error and admit your mistake and learn from it. One of the best traits a man can have. Kudos.

  40. TRUTH on said:

    Tony you’re the main reason this site is so awesome. So what you got one wrong? Nobody bats a 100 dude. I know you’re not a Harbaugh enthusiast like me, but I mean he has earned more respect than what’ve people seem to have been giving him lately. I think it’s long past due for fans to remember that. Harbaugh has AT LEAST earned a little benefit of the doubt, if nothing else. You’re a good man for falling on the sword, Tony. Much respect!

    And look at it this way – you got your arm twisted by a billion dollar organization, that’s pretty cool and it must mean you’re doing something right ;). Keep it up man but don’t forget you’re optimism is what makes you so great! And try not to be so quick to see things half empty next time. Gonna be a fun season. Go Ravens.

    And you’ll forever be 24×7 in my heart lol

  41. Nick B. on said:

    You’re the man TL. Huge reason why I love RSR. Even though you indicated otherwise, I figured Preston’s article was the genesis of your post too, which would always be a huge mistake IMO. I know he gets it right sometimes, but here’s the usual Preston strategy:

    1. Find an opportunity for something controversial (usually where all the details aren’t known).
    2. Think up his own idea of what happen (usually divisive and worst-case scenario for the subject).
    3. Write a piece where he intimates on that idea, doing everything possible to make it sound like fact without saying.
    4. Finish the piece by constantly referring to that idea as if were fact, and stated so, though it never was.

    Just listen to his segment on 105.7. Steve asked if he was speculating or what did he know. His first response is “I know what I know”. Yeah, and water is wet. Words are words. He follows saying “That’s all I will tell you. What I printed and what I know is truth and is factual.” He then refers to the press conference body language TL references here, which just proves he’s speculating. His own article, which is what he says is factual, starts by saying “That COULD have come into play”…..then he adds “It PROBABLY went something like this.” Emphasis mine, of course.

    Mike Preston is a disgrace to writers and to Baltimore fans. I wish the Ravens would take his press pass and the Sun would fire him. But, controversy sells.

    In the end I think it was all about Kubiak waiting for all the head coaching jobs to be gone, and the last one went on Thursday (Browns). Harbaugh would never throw Kubiak under the bus by airing that. I also think Kubiak was fine with sitting out a year and still making the same salary.

  42. dave on said:


    This would be a good time to remember the golfer’s expression “Never up ; never in”. OTOH, regarding the flogging, i think you’re taking this auditioning for “Fifty Shades of Grey” too much to heart.

  43. Bruce on said:

    Byrne’s response was Pure P.R. And the explanation, in your article, lemme see if I understand: in following up the owner’s interest in Kyle Shanahan, Harbaugh calls Dennison, also a recently unemployed coordinator presumably looking for work, who then talks up his unemployed boss who coincidentally only wants to work for —the Ravens. In the meantime the only news is that the very public candidates for the position have been narrowed down to two. Even though Kubiak has limited his options by declaring he will only work for the Ravens, he can dictate which coaches he’s going to take with him to the raven The press conference announcing his “choice” shows all the chemistry and comfort of a blind date couple meeting for the first time at Hammerjack’s. In the meantime we know, Preston had an interview at the end of the season with Bisciotti, wher the owner makes it clear that the coach’s choices will be subject to intervention if they don’t work out for the upcoming season. We also know that the owner WILL intervene if circumstances call for it. For example, not long after reaffirming that Billick was coming back, he changed his mind, fired him and brings in Harbaugh. Last year, at a time so late in t e season it was almost without precedence, Cameron is let go to be replaced by Caldwell. Both these interventions had extremely positive results. Bisciotti made his fortune in human resources would not claim a knowledge of Xs and Os. But Personnel? That is his expertise. So when Harbaugh a coach that everyone likes is about to make a decision on a Coordinator (Hosler) then seems to compound problems made by a previous coaching choice (Castillo), based on past experience, how surprising is it that the owner reverses from his declaration to hold off in involving himself in coaching hires and pulls Kubiak into the process? Of course it’s stepping on toes, but for the good of the team! it’s embarrassing for the coach, which is why there’s this almost manic back pedaling to frame it as stroke of genius by Harbaugh. So Byrne blogs, shows up on The Fan and WBAL, and Tony gets a talking to by a Ravens’ Deep Throat. No offense, but I’ll wait for Preston’s retraction….

    • purpleneonexpress on said:

      This is one sorry sorry apology from Tony Lombardi. There was NO REASON to apologize to anyone.

      So Tony, a little leprechaun comes to you and lays a pile of horse manure right in front of you, spreads it around a little bit, looks you right in the eye and tells you that its freshly fallen snow.

      And it moves you to write this blubbery rubbish?


      Sounds like someone was taken to the woodshed by the Ravens….

      Note to the Ravens: The more you guys talk, the deeper it gets. Fans know what went down, I applaud the hiring of Kubiak, good move, but stop lying and trying to redo history with how this occurred. You wanna blame someone, blame John Harbaugh, who can’t seem to get out of his own way. His decision to go with the lightweight sent alarm bells off and the adults were brought in with the backup plan. We know this. End of story.

  44. MountaineerRaven on said:

    When a man can stand there and say that he was wrong, express his humility and take the lumps he rightfully deserves, he deserves respect.
    I was disheartened by your first column and hoped it wasn’t true. I’m glad to hear that your initial source was incorrect, but I can’t blame you for looking for leads and continuing to make this site the Premiere site for Ravens conversation, links and breaking news!
    Thank you for all of your effort Tony! I look forward to continued visits and the insights gathered from not only the columnists but members of the message-boards!
    Everyone hits a bump in the road, and sometimes it’s a minefield! What you do afterwards defines who you are in life!! Keep up what everyone respects about this site…. Knowledge, Integrity, Honesty, and Humility!

  45. LaVerne on said:

    I have a question, do coaches not have agents like players do? If Kubrak only wanted the Ravens OC job once all the head coaching jobs were filled why did he or his agent not reach out to the Ravens? Why wait fdid Dennison have to serve as a go between? I realize any answer is speculation but I don’t understand the process well enough to think of a reasonable answer.

  46. Steve on said:

    Thanks for the clarification Tony. I am an admitted Harbaugh fan, but I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around Harbaugh having the ability to rid the team of every “troublemaker” player that questioned him (Boldin, Pollard, etc), but Ozzie & Bisciotti stepping in and forcing him to hire Kubiak against his will after an 8-8 season. I think Harbaugh has demonstarted he will do what is right for the team, regardless of personal relationships. I think he believes that Castillo is best for the team, and if he wasn’t, he would let him go. He may end up being wrong, but the motivation is not loyalty. I think the motivation has been, and will be, winning.

    Thanks, and please keep up the good work. Integrity on the Internet is a rare thing.

  47. FL Raven on said:

    I also questioned the basis of your prior article as something that sounds like it was wriiten by someone from the Sun (no names mentioned, none needed) and was suprised it came from you but I love your former and present site and like everyone else respect you for your confession and appology and really appreciate the details you provided in your confession. You provide us a great service and a great outlet and your confession is a great example that more people in this world, especially the leaders of this world, should take heart of. Too many cover ups, too much pride and not nearly enough honesty. No one is correct all the time but it takes a big person to admit publicly when they made a mistake. Bravo to you! Let’s Go Ravens!

  48. Jrock on said:

    You write a lot of good articles. I usually click on your first. People always going to have something to say. Keep doing your thing tony. It seems like damage control. I can believe the first story you wrote.

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