"Those halftime interviews are tough and I don't think I'm very good at it," John Harbaugh when asked about his heated halftime interview. "I just didn't have an answer because it was a yes or no kind of a question." (Kevin Richardson)
Ravens coach John Harbaugh expanded on his curt halftime interview during Saturday's 31-13 loss to the Washington Redskins, and the subject of the question he took exception with — an on-field skirmish that saw Harbaugh run across the field to separate the teams and yell at Washington coach Jay Gruden.
"Those halftime interviews are tough, and I don't think I'm very good at it," Harbaugh said. "I haven't been very good at it. I haven't been very good with the national group, haven't been very good with the local group — I think that's pretty well documented."
Harbaugh had kind words publicly for Comcast SportsNet reporter Brent Harris, who was the target of what has locally and nationally been described as unbecoming treatment during the halftime interview. Harris asked about the first-quarter altercation between the two teams.
"The challenge for me and the challenge in that in particular — Brent does a great job, we've done shows together, and he's a pro and does an excellent job," Harbaugh said. "I just didn't have an answer because it was kind of a 'yes or no' kind of a question. Yea, we're not happy with what happened there. I didn't have time to think about it.
"When you do it after a game, you have 10 minutes or so to kind of organize your thoughts for the media, but I'm not really thinking about the media in that moment. You're thinking about your team and what you're going to say to your guys and your halftime adjustments. I've got to get better at that, and hopefully I can improve at that."
As for the fight, which began when wide receiver Kamar Aiken was picked up and dropped on his head by Washington linebacker Keenan Robinson, Harbaugh maintained that he crossed the field because the fight seemed to be escalating after the initial tussle. Most of that continuation was due to the one-on-one confrontation between wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and Washington cornerback Chris Culliver, who were both ejected.
"It was about to blow up again, it felt like, and that's why I went out there," Harbaugh said. "And I was moving our guys back, it did calm down. [Referee] Terry McAuley, he appreciated it. I know that, because he thanked me for getting it calmed down.
"[Jay] and I, that was just the heat of battle. I told you I don't know what I said, but I will say this. To all the lip-readers out there that want to write headlines about what was said, there's more than one word in the English language that starts with "F." I really make it a point in life not to use that word as much as possible — not batting 1.000 — but I'm trying really hard and I always remember when I say that.
"So maybe it was 'fight,' is that plausible? Maybe it was 'football.' But I'm going to say I'm 99.99 certain it wasn't the word it was reported to be, just for the record, OK?"