Why Are Ravens Fans Giving John Harbaugh A Free Pass?

Ray Rice rushed for a 34 yard touchdown halfway through the third quarter against the Steelers, then gained ten more yards on the first play of the Ravens’ next possession and didn’t touch the ball the rest of the game.

Not once. Not a single play call for the franchise Pro Bowl running back.

How in the hell does that happen? There’s no explanation for it.

Allowing Joe Flacco to sling the ball over his wide receivers’ heads for the last 15 minutes of the game is inexcusable. And while it’s incredibly easy to call out offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for continually forgetting about a running back that averages 4.3 yards per carry, why doesn’t anyone question the head coach?

John Harbaugh to blame for Ravens loss to SteelersJohn Harbaugh is wearing a headset on the sideline. As far as I know, he’s not listening to Justin Bieber on that thing. He hears the play calls. So why doesn’t he jump in and tell Cameron to call a freaking play that features Rice in the fourth quarter? Or how about asking him not to call the same out-route every other play?

Anquan Boldin already has.

Remember, Harbaugh is Cameron’s boss. He’s the head coach. Continuing to watch the offensive coordinator make the same mistakes over and over again is on him. He’s to blame for these lapses.

While Harbaugh is making headlines for a weird handshake, let’s not forget about his terrible challenge in the third quarter on a Charlie Batch incomplete pass that he somehow thought was fumble. The ruling on the field was upheld and the Ravens burned a costly timeout for nothing.

“Yes, that was not a good decision by me,” Harbaugh admitted to the media after the game. “Looking back at it, it wasn’t a good challenge.” No it wasn’t.

By the way — while I have your attention — I accept everyone’s apologies for calling me an idiot after I pointed out the negative trend that is Joe Flacco’s 2012 season. Try to defend that performance. The guy was outplayed by Chaz Batch.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email:zach@baltimoresportsreport.com.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

14 Comments

  1. MGW

    December 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Harbaugh gets a free pass from the media and therefore the fans. Most fans follow the media’s lead and are incapable of forming their own opinions or drawing their own conclusions.

    Billick used big words and rubbed the media the wrong way. Harbaugh is the “anti Billick” so they give him a pass.

  2. Neil

    December 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    What are the chances of the Ravens going into another teams home field and winning with their 3rd string QB. NONE!

  3. JarJar

    December 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Yeah because you can defend Flacco for getting us to the playoffs the past 5 years but no way did Harbaugh have anything to do with that … It was all Flacco…

    • MGW

      December 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Seems like you’re satisfied with being second best, Jar Jar. And that’s fine, it’s fun to root for a team that “goes to the playoffs” each year. Maybe some year, a lucky bounce or two and they go to the Super Bowl. It certainly will not be due to this coaching staff. Yesterday’s Harbaugh quotes about the misguided challenge was reminiscent of his remarks last year from the AFC Championship, do you remember: “Yeah, that never occurred to me,” Harbaugh said. “I didn’t think that. You know, looking back at it now, maybe there was something we could have done. But in the situation, it didn’t seem like we were that rushed on the field. [I] thought we were in pretty good shape.” Referring to Cundiff rushing onto the field for a game tying field goal with one timeout in his pocket.

      Harbaugh’s poor game management, his stubbornness to stick with Cam, his tenuous relationship with his players- see earlier BSR article on the near “near mutiny”, and his “Mart Schottenheimer-like” appearances in the playoffs are all causes for concern. Not to mention his propensity to draw unsportsmanlike penalties for his team and his insistence on whining to referees instead of making adjustments are all reasons this team will only win the big one if they get a lucky break or bounce.

      But if you’re happy with “making the playoffs”, well good for you. The Browns, Chiefs, and Chargers all used to love “making the playoffs” under Schottenheimer, too. And trust me, Schottenheimer forgot more about football than Harbaugh ever knew.

  4. John McC

    December 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Most of the Ravens fans are to stupid to see how bad both Harbaugh and Cam the Sham are, and I say this as a fan. You see, in the past we had these great players who masked how bad the coaching staff was. Now, a lot of these players have left and what you see is the mask being lifted. Now you see how bad our coaching staff is. Lets face it Harbaugh and crew are not NFL guru’s … not even close. And Joe is a nice man but a
    slightly average Quaterback. Until this changes, you will get what you see.

    • Ravens2488

      December 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      Johnny Mac, you hit the button right on the head! MGW and I have been saying this. As the good players go then you will see the real Harbaugh. It has been pissing me off for years that the Raven fans (And I am a big Raven fan) would give Harbaugh a break and make excuses for him. The guy is a clown.

      Harbaugh wants “Yes” players around him and as you notice the team does not get any top name, players in free agency anymore because Harbaugh doesn’t want them. Just like his coaches, he keeps them in the family or close friends. Thiink about it, why didn’t the Ravens go get a real Defensive Coordinator when Pagano left? Because Harbaugh wants his coaches low on the totem pole so that he doesn’t have to fear for his job.

      This is just the start of the downfall I hate to say. This team will not be over .500 in the next 2 years. Now it’s getting to be Harbaughs players and you can see that he cannot coach them.

      You know it was funny Sunday. The camera’s showed Griffin talking/laughing with his Offensive teammates and then showed Flacco standing there like a statue not talking to anyone. In fact, the announcers even mentioned it at the time. I’ve said for years you never see Flacco talking to his teammates or his teammates talking to him. A QB should be talking to his teammates during a game, going over plays or building them up for the next series… Not this assclown Flacco…

  5. JarJar

    December 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    You give Flacco a pass because he has gotten us to the playoffs the past five seasons. He couldn’t have done that himself, he can’t even audible at the line with out taking a sack. Coach has done a damn good job on several occasions managing the clock so the other team didn’t get another shot. I agree Cam can go but to give Flacco a pass and think he “lead” us to the playoffs by himself for five seasons is bunk. If you build this franchise around Joe Blows the Big Game, you are the one settling for second.

  6. JarJar

    December 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    And we have seen how well a team with an elite QB has done this season with out a coach, saying Flacco lead us to the playoffs with out a decent coaching staff, again bunk.

  7. MGW

    December 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Jar Jar,

    I’m sorry if I lead you to believe I was a Flacco fan. He’s on the team so I root for him, but I think he leaves a lot to be desired. As a matter of fact, I think the team has a really tough decision to make with Flacco. He’s just OK and his agent wants him to get Brady money. The team can’t squander valuable salary cap money on a game manager.

    So count me in the court of the fan who thinks both Flacco and Harbaugh have benefited from having Ray Rice and an incredible defense (up until this year) who have made both of them look better than they are.

  8. JarJar

    December 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    My comment was more general. Rather then in response to anyone in particular, more venting my frustrations with Joe and the Blinders people have for him. It’s true he is probably the best QB we have had in franchise history. Thats not saying much. Everyone else was either a never was or a has been.

  9. Anvil

    December 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Joe is the best QB this franchise has had. He still hasn’t shown he can beat Brady or Manning when the chips are down and winning means going to the SB. If Baltimore goes against NE or Denver, they will be done for the season. Hopefully Cam will be done as well because this team needs to run first, then throw off the play action to be effective. This offense goes to the pass too early and too often.

    • MGW

      December 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Anvil – I told some clowns I work with a couple of years ago that a pass happy offense wouldn’t work with this bunch.

      At the time, I got rebuffed saying I “needed to move out of the stone age”.

      But now folks are coming around and seeing maybe that the best player they have is a smallish RB and NOT their QB.

  10. Shanty

    December 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Steve Mcnair was pretty good, maybe Flacco can be better. I say good move and about time dumping cam, removed all the excuses, got four games to prove himself as elite. Let the chips fall were they may. (side note: can you declare yourself elite? or should it come from your peers? hmm?)