Only a day removed from yet another bad loss on the road against a team that the Ravens should have handled, fans and the media were looking for answers at Monday’s press conference.
But, as usual John Harbaugh didn’t give many. His “answers” were littered with coachspeak, cliche and most importantly spin control. As evidenced by the video, he appeared uneasy when pressed about questions regarding why his team always seems to letdown against “lesser” opponents or why Ray Rice -his best offensive weapon only had Five rushes.
Harbaugh firmly rejected any connection between the team’s three losses and stated that he will focus on football and not his team’s percieved psychological issues.
I’m not a psychologist. I think what you do is you look at football. We’re moving forward. We took responsibility for the loss and we’re moving forward.”
Which I can only infer means that while he acknowledges the loss he doesn’t really want to talk about it. I also find his comments about psychology interesting. Motivation is just one of the many facets of his job as a Head Coach. He needs to understand what makes his players tick individually and collectively. So while he may not have a degree in it he needs to play the part on the sidelines and in the locker room.
Harbaugh seemed annoyed that no one asked direct questions about football – or the game itself. When he was he offered these comments to defend Cam Cameron and his gameplan.
I don’t know how you would do it any differently. We were in a situation where we lost two possessions [on turnovers]. When you don’t have very many plays, it’s hard to build up your running game. The way the game went, we had to throw it. … In that game, I didn’t see a lot more opportunities to run the ball.”
I have to disagree. It’s not automatic once you get behind to totally abandon one aspect of your offense and in essence freeze out your best weapon to score. Opposing defenses are looking for ways to shut Ray Rice down so when you choose not to include him in the offense you are doing the opposition a huge favor. Rice only rushed the ball three times in the First Half. There is no defense for that stat.
To be fair I can understand what Harbaugh is doing to a degree. We as fans want to hear people called out when they make mistakes or at the very least take some accountability. But there is a still a long way to go and at the risk of sounding like an apologist this is only one game. The Ravens now have a HUGE match-up slated for this Sunday with the Bengals. A win and the Ravens are back in first place in the AFC North due to the tiebreaker. He needs to keep his team mindful of what happened in the past while getting them focused on the immediate future.
I have to agree with coach on this last statement.
“The story of the season is going to be written at the end. I’m not writing that story now. … I’d like to give you an answer, but I’m not really interested, to be honest with you. It’s not my job to answer that for you. Our answer is on Sunday. That’s what a football team has to do. That’s what our focus will be.”
If the Ravens can fix their issues and prepare to beat a team that has given them fits over the years then they can take the sting out of another unlikely defeat.
We’ll have to see what this Sunday brings.