Ravens coach John Harbaugh won’t apologize for quality of opponents


The Baltimore Ravens are off to a 3-0 record this season. The ball seems to be bouncing their way for a change and the Ravens are winning close games because of it.

In 2015, that was not the case. Their first six games were decided by six points or less, and the Ravens only won one of those games.

This year is a different story but the three Ravens wins are being discredited because of the teams they have defeated. Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn’t buy into that.

“We don’t have to evaluate ourselves, we just have to get ready to play games,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. “Bill Parcells said ‘You are what your record says you are.’

“It is a pretty good statement. That is what we have to take care of. We have to take care of business, and evaluating ourselves is not something we need to do. We just need to play better and better football.”

Harbaugh says the team’s focus will always be on winning the next game. They won’t get caught up in the strength of schedule or the quality of their opponent. The mindset is they just have to win the next game.

Harbaugh is always focused on being positive. He builds his players up with tough love, and they would run through a brick wall for him. He gave an interesting example of how he always thinks positively.

“My brother and I, one of our philosophies in life— and we live a blessed life— we say that it is just amazing how things work out for us,” Harbaugh said. “When we go to the mall, we don’t start [looking] in the parking spaces in the back row. We drive right to the front row. There is going to be someone pulling out.

“Yes, the place is packed, it might say no parking available, but someone is going to leave as soon as we come in. It has just always worked out that way for us. So, I think that is a good way to approach life.

When you start having some good things happen for you like our team has, maybe you can build on those things, because you just believe that good things are going to happen. Maybe that is a self-fulfilling prophecy as well.”

Every game is hard to win in the NFL. Harbaugh says that he respects every team equally. He pointed out how sometimes no one gives a team a chance to win a game, but they go out there and win in a blowout.

Conversely, he also referred to how sometimes a team is favored heavily and they win by a slight margin. It happens. Every game is a struggle. Harbaugh summed it up perfectly.

“Everybody is really good, and people have really good coaches and really talented players, and these guys fight like crazy out there to win a football game,” Harbaugh said. “You only play 16 of them. It’s like the equivalent of 10 games in a baseball season; that’s how valuable these games are. It is really a dramatic struggle in a football game, so when you win one, it’s a real sense of accomplishment, and you feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.”

The Ravens won’t apologize for the cumulative record of the teams they have defeated so far. Instead, they will take a positive spin from them and keep playing the teams that are lined up on their schedule. Next up will be the Oakland Raiders.