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Late For Work 9/29: Michigan Interested In Harbaugh. But Is Harbaugh Interested In Michigan?


Michigan Interested In Harbaugh. But Is Harbaugh Interested In Michigan?

The future of University of Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke is murky, as the Wolverines continue a downward spiral and sit at 2-3.

At the bottom of the Big Ten conference, the school is reportedly looking for a replacement, and high-ranking Michigan sources tell NFL Media's Ian Rapoport that they are interested in one of the Harbaugh brothers.  Only it's not Jim, who quarterbacked for the Wolverines.

Officials would prefer John over Jim because John is viewed as a long-term option, per Rapoport.  Growing up in Ann Harbor, John also has Michigan ties, as his father coached at both Michigan and Western Michigan.

That said, it takes two to tango, and John isn't interested in leaving Baltimore, per multiple reporters, including Jerry Coleman of 105.7 The Fan.

Harbaugh has not responded to the reports, but he – he also hasn't even been asked about them publicly –* *has plenty of motivation to stay put, per a source "with knowledge of the situation."

"The source said there are multiple reasons why John Harbaugh wouldn't be inclined to go after the job beyond his friendship and loyalty to Hoke," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "A big reason is that Harbaugh is content as coach of the Ravens (3-1), with whom he won Super Bowl XLVII just two seasons ago over Jim Harbaugh's 49ers."

Smitty Delivers Classic One-Liner & Messes With Ref

Steve Smith Sr. mostly stayed above the fray in his post-game remarks after proving to his former Panthers team that they made a mistake in cutting him.

But the old man (and I use that term knowing I'm just one year younger) just couldn't resist one little jab before hitting the road. was kind enough to single out what will likely become of one of his best quotes of the year in the video below. (Mobile users tap "View in browser" at the top of the page to watch.)

"That film was a coaching session," Smith said. "I'm 35 years old, and I ran around them boys like they were schoolyard kids."

The awesome one-liner was an instant Internet hit.

Smith didn't do too much showboating on the field on his way to a 139-yard, two-touchdown performance. He mentioned in the post-game presser that the Panthers didn't deserve his patented ball-spin after catches.

However, he did enjoy a "drink" with fans on the sideline and he had fun messing with the refs, as can be seen below.


"The ref's 'thanks ... ooh ... oops ... hey …' followed by the arms-outstretched ‘GIMMEEEEE’ at the end makes it for me. It's hard being a ref," wrote SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal.

Hensley: Forsett Staking Claim To Starting Job

The Ravens tout an impressive three-headed monster in the backfield, with Baltimore relying on the hottest hand each game.

So Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro will all get the ball. But who holds the distinction as the starter?

With Pierce nursing a thigh injury, he didn't play yesterday and Harbaugh said he won't play until he is 100 percent healthy. While Pierce is listed as the top back, Forsett has started two weeks in a row, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley says Forsett is "staking his claim" to the job.

"Whether running back Justin Forsett starts for a third straight week is up to the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff," Hensley wrote. "There's just no argument that the veteran journeyman has done everything he can to keep hold of the job. … You have to wonder whether the Ravens will stick with Forsett because he's more durable than Pierce and more experienced than Lorenzo Taliaferro."

Sure, Forsett's 97 total yards and touchdown were impressive, but Hensley says how he notched those numbers was what was really impressive.  He broke multiple tackles and grinded through defenders all game.

Our own John Eisenberg publicly apologized to Forsett after calling him a "scatback" because of his smaller frame, speed and catching ability. But after Sunday, Eisenberg said Forsett is clearly more than that.

On his way to an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter, Forsett broke an arm-tackle from last year's Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly, and then bounced off safety Roman Harper for the score.

With the way he's playing, onlookers are scratching their head as to how Forsett has played for four different teams in four different seasons. The Ravens are his fifth team since he was drafted in 2008, the same year Ray Rice and Joe Flacco were drafted.

Maybe it's because no quarterback has been able to adjust to Forsett's shorter 5-foot-8 frame the way Joe Flacco has. This Twitpic is AWESOME. Way to get low, Joe!

Suggs, Pass Rush In Newton's Face

Terrell Suggs got his first sack of the season. Actually, it was technically only a half-sack, but don't get it twisted. Suggs was a key piece of the Ravens' pass rush in an impressive outing against Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Fellow outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Pernell McPhee also took up residence in the backfield.

The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston took notice.

"On the Carolina Panthers' first play from the line of scrimmage, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs blew by left tackle Byron Bell and wrapped up quarterback Cam Newton like a bundle of hay," Preston wrote. "Suggs didn't get the sack, but Newton's pass was hurried and fell incomplete.

The Ravens finished with just two sacks, but they hit Newton seven more times and the four-year veteran didn't finish the game.


Jimmy: We Busted Simplest Coverage

Considering the Ravens dominated the Panthers, 38-10, it didn't really matter that the Ravens secondary had a miscommunication on the only touchdown they surrendered.

But that was of little consolation to cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Newton hit rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for a 28-yard score when the Ravens were in a standard Cover 2. Smith shadowed the rookie until he released him to deeper coverage for free safety Darian Stewart, per The Sun's Aaron Wilson.

Only Stewart was late, and the damage was done.

"We busted the simplest coverage you can bust," Smith said. "We didn't play it the way we were supposed to be and they got an easy one on us. Basic Cover 2, Darian's deep, I'm short. We didn't play it the right way.

"We literally couldn't have busted the coverage any worse. It was so simple that we just couldn't believe it happened, but we got back and we fixed it. We've just got to keep not letting things happen like that."

Hurst Passes The Test

We cannot close LFW without giving a shout-out to undrafted rookie James Hurst, who had his first NFL career start at left tackle and made it seem like* *he's been doing it for years.

Hurst picked up where Monroe left off, as the Ravens offensive line didn't allow their franchise quarterback to get sacked for the third-straight game.

"Hurst passed his first test with flying colors on Sunday," wrote's Bo Smolka.

Added Clifton Brown: "Eugene Monroe (knee surgery) may be gone another three or four weeks, but Hurst looks like he can handle the job until Monroe returns."

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