You can't get a lot of words out of running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, but he helped cultivate the talents of Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson in St. Louis, and now has Ray Rice and rookie Bernard Pierce on his resume.
And then there is Harbaugh.
During the Ravens' three-game losing streak in early December, I suggested it was time for him to take charge of his team. Enough of the rah-rah, mighty, mighty men stuff. So Harbaugh put on his big boy pants and fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after a 31-28 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins, even though the Ravens were 9-4.
- Bio | E-mail | Recent columns
- Ravens' road to the Super Bowl [Pictures]
- Mike Preston's report card: Ravens beat Patriots
- Still riding high from win, Ravens begin Super Bowl preparations
- Ravens 18, Detroit Lions 16 [Pictures]
- Mike Preston grades the Ravens' 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions
- 2013 Ravens cheerleaders [Pictures]
See more photos »
1 Winning Drive, Owings Mills, MD 21117, USA
The timing was strange, but the move was endorsed here.
Nearly a month later, Harbaugh allowed Bryant McKinnie out of the doghouse and into the starting lineup at left offensive tackle. He moved Michael Oher to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele to left guard.
The move was way overdue, but at least Harbaugh swallowed his pride.
Since then with Jim Caldwell calling plays, the Ravens have been reborn on offense. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been playing well, and seems more at ease now than ever before in his previous five seasons.
But this isn't all about X&Os. Harbaugh has handled the Ray Lewis retirement tour well, even though it could have been a problem.
Lewis is always camera ready and all about theatrics. Harbaugh seemed a little annoyed that Lewis was so long-winded in his first public announcement about retiring, but has been gracious while giving the linebacker the proper send-off.
There's a lot more to coaching than most people think. Besides the strategies and the game planning, the coaching staff has to know the personality of the team and maintain the pulse.
The Ravens are under control. Harbaugh has used the underdog role well and is extremely confident. Regardless of whether or not the Ravens beat San Francisco on Feb. 3 in New Orleans, this coaching staff has gotten just about every ounce of talent out of this team.
There isn't much more to give.