A Storm Looming for Harbaugh and the Ravens?

This week the Ravens were sanctioned by the NFL for holding overly intense up-tempo off season workouts. The League stated in part that the Ravens had violated policy by requiring the players to stay long hours and conduct themselves at season level performance standards during voluntary workout sessions. Clearly this is not Spy-gate material, but its enough fodder for fans of opposing teams to sling at the Baltimore faithful.

Let’s put it out there right now, all 32 teams are guilty of this violation. With the current state of competition in the NFL you have to do what it takes. You also have to be lucky enough to not get caught. The Ravens broke a rule, OK, so what? Their conduct does not trouble nearly as much as the reason why the team was caught pushing the limits.

The Ravens were ratted out by their own players. That is immensely disturbing news.

What does that mean to me? That means dissension is growing in the ranks, and dissension breeds contempt. Clearly the players have begun to grow weary of the task master approach Harbaugh has been using, and it is beginning to show through. Now, does this translate into poor performance on the field? It’s hard to say but probably not. Little scuffles like this between front office staff and player personnel happen all the time. It’s just very rare to see the team openly revolt to the League itself.

Harbaugh needs to get his team back under control and bring everyone onto the same page. If he doesn’t he’s going to find a locker-room full of players that have all but tuned him out, and if that happens, well just ask Brian Billick how that worked out for him.

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One Response to “A Storm Looming for Harbaugh and the Ravens?”

  1. Kenny says:

    No players “ratted out” Harbaugh or the organization, as you say. There were 6 players who filed complains about classroom sessions running long, and 2 players who complained of on-field training sessions running long. The complaints were filed to Foxworth and the other NFLPA representatives on the team who brought it to Harbaugh’s attention immediately.

    The problem occured during the first week of OTA’s and was dealt with swiftly. Harbaugh has publicly stated he agrees with the decision and is “embarrassed” by the actions. The Ravens are among the classiest organizations in the NFL, and the complaints were officially filed to provide full “transparency” within the organization.

    With NFLPA and the owners butting heads recently, it seems likely (to me at least) that a representative from the NFLPA was present during the first week’s OTA, and approached certain players to ask them about the amount of time spent on training. Perhaps this representative himself witnessed the infraction, and went to the team rep’s to let them know an infraction had occured. Mason, one of the Raven’s NFLPA rep’s then went to Harbaugh to inform him of the infraction and that it had been noted. In a desire to comply with all rules, Harbaugh gave to go ahead to officially file the complaint with the NFLPA and the NFL.

    I think this is more a sign of great communication between the players and the coaching staff than anything dealing with contempt. A rule had been broken, and they were caught by an NFLPA representative outside the Raven’s organization. Though they would have been punished either way, by filing the complaint themselves they accept responsibility for the blunder and uphold the class this organization is known for. I am proud to be a fan of such an organization, when so many others lie or withhold information to protect themselves, their reputations, and members of the organization.