Three arrests in 22 days left Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh with some strong words for his players during Tuesday’s NFL owners meetings.
Harbaugh echoed Owner Steve Bisciotti’s sentiment that support is the best course of action going forward with running back
“The thing that’s really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no justifying what happened.”
Harbaugh especially warned of drinking too much alcohol.
“When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen,” Harbaugh said. “Really that’s what happened with Jah Reid as well [as Rice]. You can’t get drunk at a bar, you just can’t do it. You’re not a kid anymore and you’ve got responsibilities to not just yourself, but your family and your organization and your teammates and it’s unacceptable.”
Then Harbaugh addressed Thompson’s issue.
“You can’t be riding around in a car with marijuana in your bag,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t care what your reason or your excuse is for it. You can’t be riding around with guys that you have no business riding around with.
“Those are the core issues those guys had and we addressed them with those guys directly. It’s unacceptable, it’s disappointing. But you also separate the person from the activity and redemption is something we think is important as well.”
Harbaugh and Bisciotti both unequivocally said that Rice will be a part of the team next season. But there isn’t an endless free pass. At some point, players could be cut for poor off-the-field behavior.
“If there’s ever a point in time when we feel like that person has lost value for our team, really it starts with football, or because of their character they’re no longer what we want to have be a part of us, then you move on from those guys,” Harbaugh said.
“But those guys aren’t at that point yet.”