In the wake of the awkward, somewhat tense exchange between Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin during the traditional postgame handshake, Harbaugh downplayed the oft-discussed episode on Monday.
Harbaugh emphasized that he wasn't uncomfortable during the meeting at midfield following the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
"No, really I don’t know anything about the speculation," Harbaugh said today at his weekly news conference. "I haven’t seen any of that. Nothing uncomfortable at all. I thought Mike did a terrific job preparing his team. Obviously, they played very well, and I made a point to congratulate him on that. Hopefully he accepted that, and it was all good.”
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Following the game, Harbaugh stuck out his hand and said "Congratulations," to Tomlin. While Tomlin accepted the handshake, he didn't respond to Harbaugh.
Harbaugh responded by saying, "Hey, Hey, Hey!" with Tomlin then looking directly at the Ravens coach and replying: "Thank you, good job." Both coaches then headed to their respective locker rooms with Tomlin pausing to pat quarterback Joe Flacco on the chest.
Harbaugh was asked if this could have stemmed from some coaches preferring to have a quick exchange and others wanting to speak longer.
“I really don’t know about the handshake agendas," Harbaugh said with a smile. "I felt fine about it. It was fine. I just wanted to make sure he knew that we congratulated him and that was it.”
Bottom line: This didn't even come close to approaching the hostility that was on display last season between San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh's younger brother, and Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz.