Echoing the senitiment of several of his players, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said officials should have thrown a flag late in the third quarter Sunday when it appeared that New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith planted his knee against quarterback Joe Flacco’s helmet following a sack by defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson.
Asked what he saw on the play, Harbaugh said Monday, "I would say that I saw just what you saw. The guy appears to knee him right in the head after the play when he was on the ground. I mean, it's clear-cut."
After the game, wide receiver Derrick Mason questioned whether a double standard existed in protecting quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but not Flacco.
Harbaugh, who said the organization will send film of the play to the league for an explanation, declined to compare Flacco to other quarterbacks in the league."I don't know to make comparisons, but I know he's not getting the calls, and it's a fact over the last three years," Harbaugh said. "That's just documented. I think the officials do the best job they can, and we support them in trying to do the best job they can."
The incident enraged Flacco, who was caught on camera yelling expletives as he complained to officials.
Asked if he could sum up Flacco's words in a G-rated version, Harbaugh said, "No, I'd probably rather not get into that. But it's important for quarterbacks to stick up for themselves, and Joe did that."
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