John Harbaugh: Good to see everyone, thanks for coming. We had a great practice today and despite our slow start the bar is still set high and our focus, albeit one game at a time remains fixed upon a playoff berth. That might evoke a laugh or two from many of you but until we’re mathematically eliminated, the team and my staff will work hard each day to deliver results the fans can be proud of.
Jose Planet: Coach you are currently (2-6) and history tells us that a playoff berth is just a tad better than impossible. How do you keep your team focused?
JH: I don’t know what to say really. Two wins, the biggest seasonal deficit of our professional lives. It all comes down to one game at a time. Either, we heal as a defense, or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch, every time we fail to get off the field on 3rd down, ‘til we’re finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen…believe me.
AND, we can stay here, whine like a bunch of pacified pansies, OR…we can fight our way, back… into the race. We can climb out of hell. One inch, one game at a time.
Now I can’t do it for them. I can’t cover a receiver or tight end either.
But I look around and I see these new faces, guys who a week or two ago were unemployed, and I think…I mean for crying out loud we made every wrong choice an organization can make this season.
We’ve uh….pissed away so many draft picks and believe it or not I’ve chased off players who could have helped us, like Crabtree and Diggs because I felt they didn’t compete like Ravens.
And now, after what they’ve accomplished this season, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.
You know when you are a coach with the same team for 7, 8 or more years, things get taken from you. That’s, that’s part of life in the NFL. Unfortunately, you only learn that when you start losing stuff and suddenly it dawns on you, that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game, life or football the margin for error is so small.
Think about it! One half step too late or too early you don’t quite break up the pass. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t get the turnover. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
If you are a Baltimore Raven you fight for that inch.
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to PIECES for that inch.
We CLAW with our talons for that inch.
Cause we know, when we add up all those inches, that’s going to make the FREAKING DIFFERENCE between WINNING…and losing. Between LIVING and dying.
Let me say this…in any fight, it is the guy who is willing to give everything he’s got to win that inch. And I know if I am going to keep this job it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is…The inches RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!
Now I can’t make them do it. That’s on them. They have got to look at the guy next to them. Look into his eyes. Will they find a guy who is going to go for that inch with them? Will that guy sacrifice himself for the team because he knows when it comes down to it, in the heat of the moment, that he’s going to do the same thing for him?
I think he will.
Because, that’s a team gentlemen, and either they will choose to heal now, AS A TEAM…or they will die as individuals.
That’s all it is…
Did that answer your question Jose?
Jose Planet: (somewhat dazed, nods approvingly)
Deuce Stunningman: Coach that was awesome! Boy do I love me some Any Given Sunday! Do you think Al Pacino could play you in a movie about your career when you retire?
JH: Deuce, Al might not be alive when I retire.
Deuce: Good point. What about Denzel Washington? He’s a great football coach from my hometown of Virginia. Wait I’m from Pittsburgh…er, at least I was. Have you seen Anchorman?
Gary Doleman: John you say that your team is willing to (let me quote you), “fight for that inch.” Isn’t it true that if your team actually did fight for that inch in Denver or Oakland or Arizona or even here at home against the Browns or Bengals, you might be looking at a much better record than your rather putrid (2-6)?
JH: Gary, Gary, Gary. When will you ever learn? Do you remember when Muhammad Ali used the rope-a-dope tactic to set up George Foreman for the knockout? We’ve adopted that strategy in 2015. We’ll soon reap the benefits. Stick around. We’re about to make history.
Deuce Stunningman (jumping up and down with excitement): That Ali was something! What’s my name? What’s my name? What’s my name?
Jo Polka: Coach back to the theme of inches, 3rd-and-short remains a mess for you. The team has converted 3rd-and-1 less than half the time, 8 of 17 to be exact. Why do you struggle so much in those situations?
JH: Those 36 inches are all around us. Maybe we need to move the ball back a few more inches. Maybe we just don’t have the personnel to move it 36 but we’re better at moving it 72 inches. They’re all there, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE. It’s part of the set up Jo. It’s part of the set up.
Quandary Israel: Holy Mother of Pearl, John! That is brilliant! With Steve Smith, Sr. out, who do you think is most likely to step up at wide receiver?
JH: I’m glad you asked that Quandary. This is an idea that Cam Cameron texted to me and we can’t wait to see how it plays out. You know how our receivers are often criticized for not getting any separation and our defenders always seem to be 2-3 steps away? Well we’ve decided to flip it and make the receivers play corner where that lack of separation will help them cover guys and our DB’s, who never seem to be near anyone, will play offense and use their separation skills to create easy targets for Joe.
Deuce Stunningman: John have you given any consideration to bringing in Shane Falco?https://youtu.be/17rAxDB4Jw4