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Harbaugh Delivers Message to Ravens' Staff

John Harbaugh gave a speech worthy of a pre-game locker room Friday, but there were no players in sight.

In his first official meeting with the Ravens' support staff, Harbaugh kept the full auditorium at rapt attention for 30 minutes, delivering an inspired welcome address and answering questions from the crowd.

For hours afterwards, the offices and cubicles were still buzzing about the charismatic head coach.

"You can tell he's a football guy," said vice president of regional partnerships and sales Ed Burchell. "It's coming from a genuine place with him. I think his fire and his energy are real."

Harbaugh reiterated his message of "team" being the first, second and third most important philosophies in creating his brand of Ravens football. Harbaugh's team, however, extends beyond the white yard lines.

When asked by Baker Koppelman, senior vice president of ticket sales and operations, what the non-football staff could do to help him win football games, Harbaugh's answer was similar to one he would offer his players.

"Just work to be the best at what you do and don't worry about anyone else's job," said the coach. "If we all do that individually and with passion, then we can do great things with this team."

If you talk to Harbaugh's acquaintances throughout his coaching career, one of the qualities that has defined the man is his commitment to building personal relationships.

That definitely showed when he stayed after the session to personally introduce himself and shake hands with every member in attendance.

"I've been around several coaches before, each who were charismatic and had a strong leadership quality to them," said public relations coordinator Patrick Gleason, who has eight years of sports information experience in football. "Certainly, coach Harbaugh seems to have those, but there's also something very genuine in the way he interacts with people.

"His passion for football is evident, but so is his sincerity when he says each person plays an integral role in our organization's success."

Harbaugh's inspired words had many eager to begin working with and for the new coach.

Larry Rosen, the Ravens vice president of broadcasting, said that Harbaugh's affable personality will be a boon to the RaveTV schedule in 2008 and the fans that enjoy shows like Ravens Wired and Ravens Report.

"John's energy and enthusiasm was instantly on display, and contagious," Rosen explained. "Plus, for the broadcast crew, his sincerity and savvy will be easy to capture and share with our fans! I can't wait for our first game day!"

It wouldn't take much - if anything at all - for this group of both Ravens employees and fans to get on board with a new coach, but the fact that Harbaugh was willing to speak directly to the staffers made it even more special.

Harbaugh doesn't want people to jump on the bandwagon; he wants everyone to have a hand in driving it.

"Like most Ravens fans, when Harbaugh was named the third head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, I was a little nervous," said new media manager Sarah Ellison. "But, when I met him face to face, that anxiety turned to comfort, and then that comfort turned into excitement. I appreciate his ability to dream big.

"He asked, 'Why can't we win the AFC North? Why can't we win the Super Bowl? Why can't we make history?' Coach Harbaugh has high expectations for this organization. He believes in being the best. He believes the impossible is possible. You can see it in his eyes, and you can hear it in his voice. He believes, so I believe in coach Harbaugh."

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