Cornerback Brandon Carr joked after the Ravens’ 22-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night that he’s always the last to hear “anything,” but even this must have been a new path to discovery for him.
On Friday night, the Ravens welcomed a comedian to lighten the mood on the eve of their biggest game of the season. Eventually, the comedian hit on something topical: that John Harbaugh would return as coach next season, as the team had announced that night.
“He kind of blurted it out,” Carr said. “I was like, 'Oh, we got Coach for another year. That's cool.' ”
In a statement, the team said it is working with Harbaugh to extend his contract, which expires after the 2019 season. The Ravens mostly had other topics on their mind after the win Saturday — how they shut down Philip Rivers and Co., their playoff prospects, the long flight back home — but they were excited to have at least Harbaugh’s job security settled.
“It was pretty cool to see that from up top, they have confidence in him,” Carr said, referring to the team’s ownership. “And I think just [from] being in different locker rooms, the players respond to him because he has a good mix of being a coach but also being that players' coach. It's a fine line, but he's definitely doing a great job doing it.”
Team owner Steve Bisciotti said after the Ravens failed to make the playoffs last season that he considered firing Harbaugh. On Saturday, the team moved one step closer to securing at least the AFC’s No. 6 seed and returning to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, whose forced fumble late in the fourth quarter led to cornerback Tavon Young’s 62-yard scoop-and-score, said the team was “all happy” with the decision.
“We love Coach Harbaugh,” he said. “We love his mentality. Especially being our team, we love how he gets everybody riled up. He’s an offensive coach, a defensive coach and a special teams coach. We love that about him.”
Added Young: “He cares about us.”
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, whom Harbaugh named the starter on Dec. 12 after a solid stretch while Joe Flacco was sidelined by a right hip injury, framed the announcement in simple terms.
“He was the coach that was here when I got drafted, and he’s going to be here when I keep excelling and keep improving,” Jackson said. “So yeah, I love it.”