OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens had seen more than enough from coach John Harbaugh in three seasons to reward him with a three-year contract extension in February worth roughly $12 million.
And general manager Ozzie Newsome defended Harbaugh and his game management during a conference call when a season ticket holder described his work in that area as questionable.
"As far John and his game management, first and foremost, there’s nothing that prepares you for being a head coach in the National Football League up until you get in the position," Newsome said. "As far as him managing the game, I can only think of a very few instances where you could second-guess what he did or what he didn’t do. When I look at the big picture, I try not to look at the one or two mistakes anyone makes. From my vantage point, I think he does a very good job of managing the game."
The former Philadelphia Eagles special teams coordinator has made the playoffs in all three seasons as head coach.
Under Harbaugh, the Ravens are the lone NFL team to win a playoff game in each of the previous three seasons.
And Harbaugh has gone 32-16 in the regular season with a 4-3 record in the playoffs.
His salary now ranks near Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, a Super Bowl winner.
Harbaugh, 48, joined Dennis Green, Bill Cowher and Barry Switzer as the fourth NFL coach in the past two decades to make it to the playoffs in his first three seasons.
"If you look at what we did in the first year, being able to control the football with a young quarterback, that all came down from John," Newsome said. "I know he’s not perfect and I know he’s continuing to work to get better in every facet of being a head coach, but I will say this: There’s no school that you can go to that says this will teach you to be a head coach and can learn to manage all the things you have to manage."