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Harbaugh impressive in how he dealt with Flacco, Tomlin controversies

The Baltimore Sun

I thought Ravens coach John Harbaugh had a strong week, not as far as Xs and Os, but the way he has handled himself.

He was classy in the way he handled his pouting quarterback when Joe Flacco criticized the team for running the wildcat offense. Harbaugh handled the matter with Flacco in-house and surely reminded him that despite the many, many, many, many poor games the quarterback has played with the Ravens, Harbaugh never criticized him publicly. Neither did former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron nor current coordinator Jim Caldwell.

Handling the Flacco situation in-house was professional, and the same way Flacco should have pursued the matter. I think it also may have played into why Flacco played so well against the Steelers. When he is angry or agitated, Flacco usually plays well, because he seems more focused.

Harbaugh also had plenty of ammunition to take verbal shots at Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after Tomlin came close to tripping Jacoby Jones on the sideline during a return on Thanksgiving night.

Harbaugh brushed if off, though his response would have been different if Tomlin's embarrassing move had impacted the game. Even days later, Harbaugh declined to take shots at Tomlin.

I hope the NFL suspends Tomlin for a game, because that would have significant impact on a team in playoff consideration. I would never expect behavior like that from any other coach, except perhaps New York's Rex Ryan.

As for Harbaugh, he has been relatively quiet this week, and maybe that's a sign that the Ravens are finally focused and ready to jump out of the roller coaster ride they have been on during this 2013 season.

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