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A day later, John Harbaugh calls Steve Smith's negated TD 'a great play'

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
"It was one of the greatest plays I've ever seen," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

On Sunday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to comment on what he saw when the team had a potential game-winning, 80-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Steve Smith negated because of offensive pass interference.

A day later, Harbaugh said the play in the Ravens' 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was one of the greatest he has ever seen.

“It was a great play,” Harbaugh said. “I think it shows great heart and talent and effort. It says a lot about Joe [Flacco] and Steve [Smith] and the offensive line that they could make a play like that. It was one of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen.

“That’s how I feel about it. What else can I say? I’m proud of the guys to be able to make a play like that at the end of the game. It says a lot about who we are going forward.”

Harbaugh said he sent the play to the NFL for review, but had not heard back. NFL rules prohibit coaches from commenting on officiating, so Harbaugh kept his comments to the play itself.

Flacco had nearly six seconds to scramble before launching a ball that went more than 60 yards in the air to Smith.

Smith had position on the ball, but he used his free hand to ward off Bengals safety George Iloka. With Iloka on the ground, Smith caught the pass and wove 20 yards into the far corner of the end zone before the play was called back.

The Ravens trailed, 27-24, at the time, and the go-ahead touchdown was wiped off the board.

“We didn’t win yesterday,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got to find ways to get better, maybe not come down to that play -- be so good that a play like that doesn’t even be needed.

"But if you have to make a play like that, it’s good to know you can. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to make more plays along these lines as the season goes on.”

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