Bisciotti says decision to hire Harbaugh over Ryan came down to chemistry

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti continued to express optimism that the team will sign Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to an extension.

But Bisciotti sounded surprised that the deal hasn't happened already.

"I'm having a hard time giving away $60 million," Bisciotti said at a fan forum conference call Tuesday night.

The Ravens have been negotiating with Ngata for two weeks. They could gain an additional $6 million to $7 million in cap room if they signed their franchise player to a long-term extension. The team is currently $2.8 million under the cap.

"I don't ask Oz [general manager Ozzie Newsome] if they are close or not," Bisciotti said. "I just have a feeling that things are going to work out. I have no doubt in my mind that Haloti is going to be with us. We're just trying to work out the details."

During the 66-minute call with PSL owners, he bet a fan that the Ravens would host a Monday Night Football game next year, confirmed that the Ravens would accept an invitation to play a regular-season game in London, expressed his faith in offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and quarterback Joe Flacco, supported a future proposal for a 18-game season and talked about the possibility of a post-game concert at M&T Bank Stadium.

Bisciotti also explained his decision to hire John Harbaugh over Rex Ryan as his head coach three years ago, saying it was going to be tougher for Ryan to unify the team.

"From a chemistry standpoint ... we really liked John and we thought it was going to be tougher for Rex to bring the whole team together after him spending 10 years on one side of the ball that was the dominant side of the ball," Bisciotti said.

Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to the playoffs in all three seasons as head coach while Ryan has helped the New York Jets get to the AFC championship game the past two seasons.

"I will always be second-guessed," Bisciotti said. "Some people will agree with me and some people won't. I just had to make a gut decision and so far it's worked out pretty well. I hope it gets us to the Super Bowl and brings back a couple of trophies to Baltimore."


Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward said the losses of Derrick Mason and Todd Heap puts more responsibility on Flacco. "When you lose a Mason or a Heap, that does a lot to a locker room," Ward told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Those guys were emotional leaders out there. All of the pressure comes on [Joe] Flacco probably." … New Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans was able to get his No. 83 jersey from tight end Ed Dickson, who will now wear No. 84. "It wasn't about compensation," Evans said. "It was more so out of respect." … Harbaugh confirmed that cornerback Chris Carr tweaked his hamstring Monday. Carr didn't practice Tuesday.

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