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Harbaugh-Harbaugh Connection a Benefit for Chris Wormley

Posted May 11, 2017

The Ravens new defensive lineman sees plenty of similarities in how the Harbaugh brothers run a practice.

Chris Wormley’s first NFL practice reminded him a bit of his college days.

The Michigan product spent the last two years playing for Jim Harbaugh with the Wolverines, and his first weekend with John Harbaugh in Baltimore seemed a lot like a day of work in Ann Arbor.

“They both are hard-working coaches,” Wormley said after his first minicamp practice. “There are a lot of similarities I see on the defensive side of the ball.”

The third-round draft pick is known as a tough defensive end who embraced Harbaugh’s hard-working mentality when he took over as the Michigan coach. He stayed in school last year as a fifth-year senior and was selected as one of the team’s captains.

He has said over and over that he’s a fan of the Harbaugh family’s “hard-nosed” style.

Wormley met John Harbaugh on a few occasions before getting drafted by the Ravens, and he said at the combine in February that he liked the idea of playing for another Harbaugh at the NFL level.

When he finally got his first up-close look at how Harbaugh runs a practice, he noticed the same intensity. 

“We work hard,” Wormley said.

The familiarity goes beyond the culture that the Harbaugh brothers have established in their respective programs. There’s also a schematic benefit because the teams run similar systems. Michigan’s Defensive Line Coach is Greg Mattison, who was the defensive coordinator during Harbaugh’s first three years in Baltimore, and that’s helped the transition for Wormley.

“There are a lot of similarities – a lot of the same calls, a lot of the same defenses,” Wormley said. “When you see those words and you see those defenses, it makes it a little bit easier to pick up on it and the adjustments in play calls are helpful.”

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound defender must make a quick jump to the NFL because he’s getting thrown into a competition for a starting job. The Ravens have to replace last year’s starter Lawrence Guy, and Wormley will compete with Brent Urban and Bronson Kaufusi for the spot.

Wormley is the third player to join the Ravens since Jim Harbaugh took over at Michigan. The Ravens drafted defensive lineman Willie Henry in the fourth round last year and punter Kenny Allen is currently on the roster after getting signed as an undrafted free agent. Linebacker Brennen Beyer has also spent the bulk of the last two seasons on the practice squad.

The Ravens currently have more players on the team from Michigan than any other college.

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