A first round bye, home playoff game and franchise tying best record could be enough to get John Harbaugh some national love for the NFL’s Coach of the Year. In his marathon column on Monday, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King listed Harbaugh at number five for the honor after 14 weeks of play. Harbs was listed behind little Harbaugh, his brother Jim in San Francisco, Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, Gary Kubiak in Houston and John Fox in Denver.
5. John Harbaugh, Baltimore. Since he took the job in 2008, Harbaugh has been chasing the Steelers with his Ravens. This year they swept Pittsburgh and are in position to play at home in the playoffs for the first time since the Brian Billick-Steve McNair Ravens of 2006.
Folks in Baltimore love them some John Harbaugh, too much so in my opinion. I don’t dislike our coach, I just think that Steve Bisciotti’s second candidate for replacing Brian Billick to take over a team led by the greatest linebacker of all time just six years removed from a Super Bowl might get more credit than he deserves for the current direction of the franchise. I guess what I’m trying to say is that an eight year old in a headset could take this roster to the playoffs, what happens after that can be credited to the coach.
I will say this though. Losing out on Jason Garrett was one of the best things that happened to Bisciotti and Ravens fans alike. Seeing that guy ice his own kicker, mis-manage the clock and timeouts and generally look baffled for 60 minutes in front of the 100,000 southerners at Jerry Jones Palace in Dallas does make me happy after the smug Garrett turned down the Baltimore job to stay in Texas.
No matter where they finish in the conference, there’s still an obstacle to climb for the Ravens this postseason. A matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers in January is highly likely and even though Baltimore swept them during the regular season, they still need to prove they can do it when it matters most. If Harbaugh can lead his many mighty men over Pittsburgh in the playoffs, then we can talk about Coach of the Year honors. Until then, little Harbs on the left coast is my winner.
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. You can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on twitter @zamwi or get in touch with the podcast at email@example.com or 443-379-4BSR (4377).