John Harbaugh Snubbed In NFL Coaches Ranking?
In my book, John Harbaugh is easily a top-five NFL head coach, despite last season's 5-11 finish.
The folks at USA Today see it slightly differently, however, ranking Harbaugh No. 7 in their head coaches list behind the Patriots' Bill Belichick, Seahawks' Pete Carroll, Cardinals' Bruce Arians, Vikings' Mike Zimmer, Saints' Sean Payton and Steelers' Mike Tomlin, respectively.
Harbaugh was "snubbed," says Baltimore Beatdown's Kyle P. Barber.
On one hand, you have to give respect to each of the coaches ranked ahead of Harbaugh. Each has an impressive resume. And it'd be tough to argue against Belichick as the top dog seeing as he has four Super Bowl rings as a head coach and … well, do you even need to argue more? The man has won FOUR Lombardi Trophies.
On the other hand, the list is all a matter of opinion and one could easily argue that Harbaugh should be ranked as high as No. 2.
The same argument that folks use to prove quarterback Joe Flacco is elite is the same argument for Harbaugh: postseason wins.
Since the two arrived in Baltimore together in 2008, the Ravens have the most playoff wins in the league with 10. The Patriots and Seahawks are tied for second place with eight. Harbaugh has led his team to three AFC title games and lifted the Lombardi Trophy after his Super Bowl XLVII victory.
Other than Belichick, nobody in the top six of this list has more Super Bowl wins than Harbaugh, and he is the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game in six of his first seven seasons.
"John Harbaugh has done the best possible job in the hardest division," wrote Barber. "The AFC North has three established franchise quarterbacks. [It's] the most difficult road to the playoffs when playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals twice in a season."
Below is USA Today's write-up on the top-seven coaches. Where do you think Harbaugh ranks?
1. Bill Belichick, Patriots
"Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. It's not even debatable at this point. Other coaches have had bigger impacts on the game thanks to innovative schemes. … Schemes grow old and get replaced by the next big thing. The game is constantly evolving, and, somehow, Belichick always seems to be ahead of the evolutionary curve."
2. Pete Carroll, Seahawks
"No team plays harder than the Seahawks. … His overly-enthusiastic approach wasn't supposed to work in the NFL, but it's hard to argue with the results. The Seahawks have made the playoffs five times in Carroll's six years as head coach."
3. Bruce Arians, Cardinals"Is there a more aggressive coach in the league? Arians isn't jumping on the dink-and-dunk trend most NFL offenses are now favoring. The Cardinals offense is going to attack defenses downfield and do it relentlessly. And that mindset has carried over to the defense. No team captures the personality of its coach more than Arizona. Arians also produces results. His teams have never won fewer than nine games, and that includes his 12-game stint as the Colts interim coach, when Indianapolis went 9-3."
4. Mike Zimmer, Vikings
"Zimmer is the most creative defensive play-caller in the league. And more importantly, he knows how to develop young talent."
5. Sean Payton, Saints"There's no offensive coach in the NFL better at creating favorable match-ups than Payton. That's how the Saints offense remains in the top-half of the league without elite talent at the receiver position. While most other quarterbacks see their production fall off when their top targets go down, Drew Brees just keeps putting up 4,000-yard seasons."
6. Mike Tomlin, Steelers"Tomlin might not be as hands-on when it comes the X's and O's as some other coaches on this list, but his players always play hard for him. And he's done a good job handling his assistants. When he was given the job, Tomlin was smart enough to leave Dick LeBeau in charge of the defense instead of installing his own scheme. And the unpopular hire of Todd Haley has turned out to be a brilliant move."
7. John Harbaugh, Ravens"Harbaugh deserves a pass for last year's debacle. The Ravens sent an inordinate number of players to IR. It was only the second time the Ravens missed the playoffs in Harbaugh's eight years in charge."
Joe Flacco Trending Friday
If you're a Ravens fan, Twitter was a fun place to be on Friday.
That's because the @NFL account started a #FlaccoFriday trend, and @Ravens, along with thousands of fans, joined in. The Ravens franchise quarterback has been on the sideline since November, so it was nice to be reminded of his big arm and sweet postseason resume.
Can Michael Campanaro Stay Healthy Enough To Make Team?
Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro has always shown huge potential when he's on the field. But there's ability, and then there's availability.
Campanaro has been plagued by injuries since he was drafted in the seventh round of 2014. A hamstring injury hampered his rookie season, and he landed on injured reserve last year with a herniated disc. He missed the first week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) last week with a calf strain.
"Third-year wide receiver Michael Campanaro will have a difficult time making the Ravens in 2016 if he does not stay healthy. He is not off to a good start," wrote CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown.
"Campanaro could help the Ravens as a returner, but so can [Keenan] Reynolds and [Kaelin] Clay. The Ravens have been waiting for Campanaro to show he can remain healthy. If that does not happen during training camp, it might be too late."
For the record, Harbaugh doesn't seem to have lost faith in Campanaro. There's still plenty of time this summer to prove he can stay on the field.
"I've just never seen a guy work as hard as this guy has worked in the last year and a half," Harbaugh said Thursday. "There will be a time he will get past this stuff. This stuff will stop happening and hopefully it's training camp, and that's what we're hoping for him. The guy works tremendously hard and he was in phenomenal shape, and we're still expecting really good things from him."
So Far, So Good For Webb's Transition
Media got its first glimpse at Lardarius Webb's transition from cornerback to safety during OTAs last week. So far, so good, says Brown in the video below.
There are three things that Brown believes Webb has going for him:
1) He's an eight-year veteran with plenty of experience in the secondary, which bodes well for a position switch.
2) He played safety in college, so he's not completely new to the role.
3) He has Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle playing next to him to help guide the way.
Perriman's Father Is Improving
What a relief it is to see tweets from wide receiver Breshad Perriman indicating that his father's health is improving as he continues his recovery from a stroke suffered earlier this month.
We hope this is the beginning of a much better year for Perriman, who had a rough time both on and off the field recently. In addition to the health scare with his father, Perriman lost his good friend and Ravens cornerback Tray Walker in a motorcycle accident. He also didn't play his rookie year because of a knee injury.
But his knee looks 100 percent healthy now and his father is on the up and up. I couldn't be happier for Perriman and hope the string of good news continues.
Not A Bad Day For Keenan Reynolds
What a weekend for sixth-round rookie Keenan Reynolds.
Graduate from the United States Naval Academy? Check.
Be cleared by the Secretary of Defense to play in the NFL? Check.
Sign your rookie contract? Check.
Add in a sponsorship with one of the biggest apparel companies in the world? Check.
"Not a bad day," tweeted The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.