John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens Need to Learn That Silence Is Golden

Todd PatakyCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15:  (R-L) Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks with head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens following the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Ravens 31-24. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, once again proved that the Ravens don’t know when not to talk.

During a conference call with Ravens season ticket holders on Monday, Harbaugh said, “I’ve said it before, and people in Pittsburgh got upset, but I feel like we gave them the game twice this year. We should have beaten them three times and that’s on us. That’s our fault.”

It started during last season when the Ravens talked their usual talk about how they wanted to play the Steelers and for the Steelers to “bring it.”

And what happened? The Steelers “brought it” in the form of Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu, who beat “The Blind Side,” Michael Oher and hit Joe Flacco in the blind side, sending the ball to the turf where Lamarr Woodley scooped it up and returned it to the Ravens’ nine-yard-line.

Three plays later, Ben Roethlisberger found Isaac Redman for the go-ahead touchdown.

It’s funny, Coach Harbaugh, but I don’t recall Flacco “giving” the ball to Woodley.

Then, in the playoffs, the Steelers spotted the Ravens a 21-7 lead going into halftime, including maybe the most bizarre touchdown I have ever seen, when Cory Redding picked up a ball that had laid on the turf for more than three seconds after Roethlisberger fumbled it. The problem was that nobody thought it was a fumble.

Now, if that’s not giving the other team points, I don’t know what is.

The second half of that game by the Steelers was one of the most dominating halves of football played in recent memory.

The Ravens got three first downs in the second half on 28 yards of offense. The Steelers had 149 yards of offense and 11 first downs in that half.

The Steelers scored 24 points against the Ravens’ three.

There was no “giving” on the three second half turnovers the Steelers forced. There was just the Steelers taking the ball away.

In the same statement he made above, Coach Harbaugh also said, “They made the plays they needed to make in the critical moments to win those games.”

Not to point out the obvious, but this remark is exactly the opposite of what he said previously. In one breath, he is saying his team gave the game away, but in the very next breath, the Steelers made the necessary plays to win.

Which is it, coach?

Maybe this is part of the problem in Baltimore—the players don’t know what the hell their coach is talking about.

The funny part is that he admitted that the Steelers are still on his mind “everyday.” I guess that just shows that the Steelers have taken up residency in the minds of the Ravens, and that makes me very happy.

One thing is certain and it's that the Ravens love to talk. They love to say how the league dislikes them and that the referees are out to get them.

They love to challenge other teams to a fight, but then, as soon as the other team smacks them across the mouth, they run home and cry about how unfair it is.

They are typical, loutish bullies. If you kowtow to them, they will take your lunch money, but if you stand up to them, they slink off while calling you names under their breath.

I’m tired of all the talk coming out of Baltimore. I will be more impressed when they can win with class and lose with dignity. Until they figure how to do those two things, though, maybe they would be better off not saying anything.