Harbaugh Gets Testy

Street Talk Harbaugh Gets Testy

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Ravens Head Coach Pushes Back on Flacco Questions

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been peppered with questions about Joe Flacco and his back injury for almost a month.

Sometimes, Harbaugh has been willing to give some insight into Flacco’s status, and other times, he simply shuts it down.

This constant back-and-forth between Harbaugh and the media boiled over following the third preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

A presumed feel-good, post-game press conference following Baltimore’s 13-9 victory took a tumultuous turn when Harbaugh was asked by a Ravens’ daily beat writer whether Flacco would return to practice this week.

“I guess you can ask it again and again and again and again,” Harbaugh said. “But there was a press release that went out that said exactly when he was coming back, as I recall. I think it gave a timeframe, didn’t it?”

The“press release” did not give a specific date for Flacco to potentially return to practice, saying:

“The team now has a more definitive timeframe for QB Joe Flacco’s return. The 10th-year standout has been re-examined, and his progress from a back issue is good. He will return to practice in the preseason, but he is not expected to play in these games. The plan is for Flacco to be the starting quarterback against Cincinnati in the regular season opener on Sept. 10.”


When informed about the press release, Harbaugh acknowledged the oversight. However, he made it clear that he was tired of answering questions about Flacco, saying “I’m not going to stand up here and answer that question every single day. He will be back for the Bengals game, I promise you that.”

Harbaugh gets testy

Three days later, though, Harbaugh was more forthcoming when asked about what Flacco’s preparation for the regular season. It appears everything is on track for Flacco to start against the Bengals on Sept. 10.

“It has been different things,” Harbaugh said. “His rehab has been very much rehab-oriented. It has not been football-oriented. He has been working on that. He has worked really hard on it. I do believe he is in good shape. I would not say football shape, because he has not played football.

“He is in really good shape as far as his conditioning, his cardiovascular and his strength and those kinds of things. Those are things that we will just have to wait and see when he comes out to practice. I will say he has started to throw. He has started to move around and do the football stuff in the last two days. He is moving towards practice, and when the docs clear him – which we don’t know that date, when it is going to happen right now; we believe it is going to be real soon and in time to prepare for Cincinnati – then he will be out there.”

The questions about Flacco, however, are likely to continue to until he steps on the field.

John Harbaugh can get testy with the media at times. What do you think about his feisty responses?
They are probably deserved.
They seem disrespectful.
They are expected from a man on the hot seat.
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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe’s Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory.

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