John Harbaugh reportedly diffused Ravens player revolt back in October

The Baltimore Ravens may have one of the best records in football, but that doesn’t mean their season has been free of problems — both on the field and behind the scenes. In fact, just last month head coach John Harbaugh found himself having to work through a player revolt that started when several Ravens veterans did not want to practice in pads.

According to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, Harbaugh broke the bad news to the Ravens about a full-pad practice on Halloween morning — 10 days after they suffered a 43-13 loss against the Houston Texans.

“It was practically a mutiny,” one Ravens player said. “It came very close to getting out of control. But the way Coach Harbaugh handled it was amazing. He let people have their say, and he listened, and he explained himself, and pretty soon it was like a big group-therapy session. In the end, a lot of positive things were said. We didn’t practice in pads, but we came out of there stronger as a group.”

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John Harbaugh on Joe Flacco: ‘Pay him whatever he wants’

If the Ravens front office was looking for leverage in contract negotiations with Joe Flacco, they found none this week. Baltimore is expected to give Flacco more freedom this season and let him run the no-huddle offense, and he turned that freedom into 21-for-29 passing, 299 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 44-13 win over Cincinnati Monday night. He also got the ultimate endorsement from his head coach after the game.

“Pay him whatever he wants,” John Harbaugh said while bursting into laughter, according to the Baltimore Sun. “Pay the man.

“We’ve always stood up here, and we’ve always, all our coaches, the organization, we know what we’ve got in this guy. Of course he is (elite). He is a winner. He is one of the toughest quarterbacks I have ever been around. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever been around.”

Flacco and his agent certainly appreciate the kind words. We already knew he had confidence based on statements like this one that he is made in the past. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has openly stated that he wants to see Flacco back up his comments and perform like an elite quarterback, and if Monday was any indication he just might do that this season. With Matt Schaub having just received a four-year, $62 million extension from the Texans, Flacco is in a great position. If he continues to play like he did against the Bengals, the Baltimore front office should be happy to open its check book.

Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Report: Ravens fans possibly exposed to rabies during preseason game

Fans who attended the August 17 preseason game between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions have been urged to contact their local health department following a potential rabies scare at M&T Bank Stadium. During the game, a bat reportedly landed on a person in the stands. The bat was not captured and therefore can not be tested for rabies.

Bats commonly carry rabies and officials said in a press release that rabies can change animal behavior, making typically friendly, domesticated animals more aggressive and wild animals more friendly. Since bats are usually afraid of people, it is somewhat alarming that one may have landed on a fan. The Maryland health department urges people to avoid touching any bat that should enter their home and to try to capture it and not let it go until animal control has tested it, unless you are sure no animal or person in your household came into contact with the bat.

We have seen several incidences of animals in sports over the years like a this furry creature delaying a baseball game or a golfer getting attacked by a reptile, but possible exposure to rabies has to be among the strangest occurrences. Hopefully no fans who attended the game were affected.

Ryan Clark on Ravens: Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

If you have not yet seen the way the Ravens 2011 season came to an end, you probably aren’t a sports fan. If that’s the case, I’m sorry you ended up on this site. For those of us who have seen at least a dozen replays of Billy Cundiff shanking a 32-yard field goal, we know how painful the AFC Championship game was for Baltimore. Cundiff has been called the Billy Buckner of football among many other not-so-nice nicknames, but I think Steelers safety Ryan Clark may have come up with the best metaphor thus far.

“I know for those guys it is heart breaking, but that is what football is about,” Clark said during an interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh Wednesday. “You have to make every play and New England made just enough plays to win the game. I know it seems like for the Ravens right now always the bridesmaid and never a bride. It just shows that no matter how good your team is from year to year, no matter how many future Hall of Famers you have, you have to perform every day and winning Super Bowls is hard.”

What about always the best man and never a groom? I know that phrase wouldn’t be as powerful, but the Ravens and Steelers already don’t like each other.  Whether he meant anything by it or not, being compared to a bridesmaid has to irritate the Ravens — even if only a little.

That being said, Clark is right.  The Ravens are their own worst enemy right now in terms of getting over the hump.  They have been one of the best teams in the AFC for the last several year, but they continue to find ways to lose big games.  Oftentimes the more that happens, the tougher performing in the clutch becomes.

Ravens Kicking Consultant Believes Patriots Scoreboard Error May Have Been Intentional

Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown confirmed that the Gillette Stadium scoreboard was inaccurate during the end of the AFC Championship Game Sunday, leading to a rushed kick from Billy Cundiff. He thinks it’s possible the error was made on purpose.

During an appearance with Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on 94 WIP in Philadelphia Tuesday, Brown said “The scoreboard was one down behind, the entire last three plays, from what we understand. That caused Billy Cundiff to have to rush on to the field with just seconds left on the play clock to try and make the kick, which he missed.”

When asked if he felt the error was done purposely to mislead the Ravens, he replied “I don’t think you can rule anything out in New England, can you?”

Even if you believe the conspiracy theory that the Pats’ scoreboard operator intentionally misled the Ravens — and it wouldn’t be the first time the Pats messed with the opposing team through stadium technology — Brown says it’s no excuse for the missed kick.

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Special Teams the Difference in AFC and NFC Championship Games

We hear coaches say it so often that it has become a cliche. When guys like Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin take the podium the week before a game, they always mention special teams. It is the third phase of the game that people tend to ignore. When analyzing the match-up between two teams on paper, we look at offenses and defenses. On Sunday, we were all reminded of how important the forgotten phase of the game truly is.

In the AFC Championship game, it was Billy Cundiff. The game was headed to overtime. Both the Ravens and Patriots had come up with timely turnovers to keep the game close. Tom Brady had an unimpressive day throwing the ball, but he led a go-ahead drive in the second half that was capped off by an uncharacteristic leap into the end zone over a pile of Ravens defenders.  Joe Flacco put Baltimore in a perfect position to send the game to overtime by bringing his team to the New England 21-yard line.  Perhaps the Patriots would block it, but no NFL kicker is going to shank a field goal inside 40 yards, right?  Cundiff shanked it, and the Patriots advanced.

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Students at Baltimore Elementary School Told to Either Wear Purple for Ravens Rally or Sit in the Library During it

Nothing brings a community together quite like a local team making a run.  Considering it’s Friday and there are only four teams remaining in the Super Bowl hunt, I’m sure there are plenty of people wearing their Niners, Giants, Patriots, and Ravens gear to school and work on the east and west coasts.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing that as long as young children are not forced to support the Ravens like Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore tried to mandate.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Roland Park is now doing a bit of backpedaling after they were chosen by the Baltimore Ravens organization to be a part of pep rally that is touring the city.  Here is what a couple of teachers emailed to parents in preparation of the television appearance.

“Students must wear purple or Ravens attire to attend, as there will be many TV cameras there,” one teacher wrote to parents in an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. “Not wearing purple or Ravens attire means making a choice not to attend.”

Another teacher emailed that “students must wear purple in order to attend. If your child does not wear purple or you do not wish them to attend, I believe staff will supervise the students in the library.”

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