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John Harbaugh Talks Jimmy Smith, Awaits Ray Rice Decision


As Ravens training camp opened with quarterbacks, injured veterans and rookies on Tuesday, Head Coach John Harbaugh addressed the legal situations of a couple players not yet present.

Harbaugh said he has spoken with cornerback Jimmy Smith about his July 12 arrest in Towson and is now putting the matter behind him.

"I understand what happened. I believe," Harbaugh said. "I've heard it from a lot of different sources. I haven't thought about it since. I feel like I've given it the amount of attention it deserves."

Harbaugh indicated that he will not be giving the team another lecture on how they should be behaving off the field and representing their city.

The head coach expressed earlier this offseason how concerned he was, and stressed the importance of character.  He, front office executives and Owner Steve Bisciotti met with all players and coaches at the end of minicamp.

"I think that point's been made," Harbaugh said.

The other lingering issue is a possible suspension for running back Ray Rice. Harbaugh said he has not heard anything from the league about when a decision will be announced.

"Whenever they're ready to let us know, we'll be ready to hear it," Harbaugh said.

One reason it could be taking longer than some may have expected is because of other disciplinary actions to be taken around the league, in particular with Colts Owner Robert Irsay, Panthers linebacker Greg Hardy, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and Browns receiver Josh Gordon.

"It's not my decision to make or anybody here. It's in other people's hands and I'm sure there are a lot of complications in making those kinds of decisions," Harbaugh said.

"There are many sides to every story and there are a lot of factors. There are other people involved, there are other disciplinary situations involved around the league. I think that has to be weighed and taken into context. They're going to have to sort through that and be fair about the whole thing."

Harbaugh said he believes that the league is "very judicious" about handing out punishments, and works hard to do the right thing.

"I don't think they worry about public opinion too much; I think they want to do the right thing with the people involved," he said.

The Ravens aren't in a huge rush to get a decision because they are going to operate with Ray Rice as the No. 1 running back until halfway through training camp regardless.

If Rice is suspended, they could give backups Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett more reps during the second half of camp to get them prepared for bigger early-season roles.

"Once we get past the second preseason game, we'll move accordingly," Harbaugh said.

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