Ravens coach John Harbaugh cooled the developing war of words between himself and St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher -- centered on accusations and implications of dirty play by both teams -- saying Wednesday that it's "unfortunate" if Fisher thought Harbaugh called the Rams dirty "because that insinuation was never made."
"My guess it that when he was informed of it, he was a little bit misinformed of the intent of the statement, because that's not what I meant to say," Harbaugh said. "It's a tough game, it was a hard-fought game, it was an emotional game. That's the kind of game you always expect to get with a Jeff Fisher-coached team. That's the way their guys play. Its not meant to insinuate anything negative. If he came back with a negative connotation, then that's too bad."
When discussing his team's 10 accepted penalties for 137 yards from Sunday's 16-13 win over the Rams on Monday, Harbaugh explained the origins of a special teams play that saw three penalties be called on the Ravens at once.
"I saw the punter [Johnny Hekker] hit one of our guys dead in the back that they missed," Harbaugh said. "I saw our guy retaliate, which is not what you want to see. Then I saw a free-for-all out there, which is not unusual against the team we were playing."
Fisher took exception to that on his weekly radio show on ESPN 101, saying Harbaugh and the Ravens "need to take a look in the mirror."
"I'm kind of intrigued by some of the stuff - and I can't verify it - but the insinuations or whatever of, that we were a dirty team coming out," Fisher said, via ESPN.com. "Then I've got plays I've got to send the league office where their players are hitting us in the mouth after plays with fists. It was allowed in the game because it wasn't called, and I'm not complaining. We played hard."
So it seems that Fisher did, in fact, take Harbaugh's comments with a negative connotation. But Harbaugh wouldn't risk having a one-track mind when it comes to Fisher's response.
"If he was saying it in a positive way, in terms of look in the mirror, that can be construed as a positive, I guess," Harbaugh said. "So I'll just take it as a compliment and leave it at that."