San Francisco Worried Harbaugh Out For Family Revenge
The San Francisco 49ers and former Head Coach Jim Harbaugh didn't exactly part on friendly terms.
Despite the team saying they "mutually agreed" to part ways, Harbaugh maintained: "I didn’t leave the 49ers. I felt like the 49er hierarchy left me."
John Harbaugh watched the whole thing unfold last season, and Sunday will mark the first time his Ravens will match up against the 49ers since his brother left. San Francisco reporters were curious if the Ravens head coach will use some sort of family grudge as extra motivation.
"It’s not part of the equation at all," Harbaugh said Wednesday morning, per The San Jose Mercury News. "Life moves on.
"Jim loved his time there. He loved the players, loved the fans and loved being a 49er. They had four great years and everyone moves on to the next great thing in life. … He feels great about it. If he feels great about it, I feel great about it for him. Other than that, I'm not involved in that at all. Never was."
The fact Harbaugh didn't mention team ownership in the list of things his brother loved didn't escape CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco in the video below. And CSN Mid-Atlantic's Brian Mitchell isn't totally buying that the elder Harbaugh has moved on.
"That's what we all say, but it's human nature," Mitchell wrote.
But it is easy to believe Harbaugh when he says he has his hands full with other things and "you don't really have time for" a revenge narrative. After all, he's trying to get his 1-4 team out of last place in the AFC North with a growing injury list and ever-evolving roster.
"There's too much to worry about and too much to prepare for, and too much we're dealing with to think about that stuff," Harbaugh said. "It's irrelevant with what we're trying to accomplish."
Not to mention, life is pretty good for Jim as he and his 4-1 Michigan Wolverines are ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll right now.
The Harbaugh brothers have joined one another on the sideline in the past when their schedules have allowed, including just last week when John was on Michigan's sideline for a contest against the Terps. John said there are "no plans" for Jim to join him on the sideline when they face the 49ers.
While San Francisco reporters were peppering John with revenge questions, Baltimore media was more interested in whether he would give his brother a call to glean an advantage. That idea was quickly dismissed.
"It's a different team now," he said. "It's a different scheme that they're running now. Plus, he has his hands full with what he's getting ready for this week."
How Did Smith, Gillmore Look In Return To Practice?
Steve Smith Sr. is straight-up hardcore.
Less than two weeks after suffering microfractures in his back, he returned to practice in a limited capacity. It's still unclear if he can actually play in a game and endure hard hits. The media briefly watched Smith in a 15-minute portion of practice, and here's what a few saw as he rans routes.
"He's running at full speed but you can tell he's not 100 percent when he tries to slow down or change direction," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
WBAL's Pete Gilbert added that Smith Steve "moved with caution in drills, but showed a burst too."
Known for his toughness and pain tolerance, Smith hasn't missed consecutive games due to injury since 2006 with an injured thigh. That's a whopping eight NFL seasons.
"Listen, you have to prepare for him," said 49ers Head Coach Jim Tomsula. "We're preparing for him. We don't know, won't know, so we're preparing for him. There's another one now [that fights]. What a competitor."
Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore, who has become one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets, returned to practice as well. Even after missing the last two games with a calf injury, Gillmore ranks third on the Ravens with 151 receiving yards. "Gillmore's return to practice was anticipated after he was moving around wellin a pre-game workout on Sunday," wrote WNST's Luke Jones.
Seriously? Another Player To IR?
The good news of Smith and Gillmore's return was tempered by the bad news of running back Lorenzo Taliaferro being placed on injured reserve and nine other players missing practice Wednesday.
Taliaferro is the 11th player to land on IR … and it's only Week 6.
"Okay seriously!" exclaimed Baltimore Beatdown's Matthew Steven. "The Ravens are sending yet another player to injured reserve in a season that seems to be unraveling faster than it began."
Making matters worse, starter Justin Forsett missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury he sustained against the Browns. If Forsett can't go, fourth-round rookie Buck Allen would become the starter and the Ravens claimed running back Raheem Mostert off of waivers to help add some depth.
The Ravens keep hoping to get people back from injury to help turn the season around, but as soon as that happens, it seems more get banged up. In addition to Forsett, Elvis Dumervil (groin), Marshal Yanda* *(ankle), Lardarius Webb (thigh), Chris Canty (calf), Darren Waller (concussion), Chris Givens (ankle), Terrence Brooks (thumb) and Breshad Perriman (knee) missed practice.
"Needless to say, the Ravens are very thin at running back, wide receiver, and outside linebacker at the moment as injuries have told a major part of the 2015 story so far," wrote Jones. "Current practice-squad running back Terrence Magee and outside linebacker Brennen Beyer are names to remember as potential candidates to be promoted to the 53-man roster later in the week."
Ravens Currently Own No. 3 Draft Pick
I hate, I hate, I hate that people are already talking about the Ravens and the 2016 draft … in October.
But with a 1-4 start, that's just where we are.
And if the season ended today, the Ravens would own the No. 3 overall pick.
Several media have knocked the last several Ravens' draft classes, giving an exception to the top picks of the 2014 draft with C.J. Mosley and Timmy Jernigan. But that year, General Manager Ozzie Newsome actually picked in top 20.
The Ravens would prefer to pick at the end of the draft – as that would mean they had a successful season – but when Newsome gets a high draft pick, he's done great things. The last time Baltimore had a pick in the top 10, it selected Terrell Suggs in the 2003 draft. The time before that, Newsome got Jamal Lewis with the fifth-overall pick in 2000. There's also Chris McAlister (No.10) in 1999, Peter Boulware (No. 4) in 1997 and Jonathan Ogden (No.4) in 1996.
"Now a lot of football is still yet to be played and the Ravens could slide all the way down to the first spot or find themselves holding a Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year and sitting at the 32nd overall pick," wrote Stevens. "However, if the Ravens were to select today, they would have a wealth of players to fit various needs."
Never give up on your Dreams!!#RavenNation pic.twitter.com/Tx69oHzA4b — Za'Darius Smith (@TheRealZSmith) October 14, 2015