The Ravens coaching staff will be headed to Arizona after all.
Head Coach John Harbaugh and his staff have been selected by the NFL to coach one of the squads at next week's Pro Bowl.
"We were contacted about that late last night, and we decided this morning to go ahead and do it," Harbaugh said Tuesday. "I polled our coaches to see how they felt about it, and they all were excited about coaching a Pro Bowl. We'll look forward to doing that."
Denver's staff was expected to coach the game as the AFC representatives, but the Broncos parted ways with Head Coach John Fox after their loss to the Colts in the divisional round. The Pro Bowl coaching staffs are chosen based on the highest-seeded teams that lose in the divisional-round of the playoffs.
From the NFC, Jason Garrett and his Cowboys staff is expected to coach the game.
Harbaugh and his staff will join several of their players on the trip out west. Right guard Marshal Yanda, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil were all selected for the game, and the Ravens could have a couple additions. Running back Justin Forsett, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, punter Sam Koch and kick returner Jacoby Jones are all first alternates.
"We don't have to stop coaching right away," Harbaugh said. "We get to coach a little bit more, which is kind of nice."
Another benefit of the Pro Bowl is that the coaching staff gets a chance to spend time with players around the league. Harbaugh and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. first met at the Pro Bowl in 2001, and that connection gave them a foundation when the Ravens signed the veteran receiver this year.
"You get to know guys," Harbaugh said. "That's always a fun part, is getting to know some of the players around the league."
The Pro Bowl has a reputation of being a light-hearted affair during the week of practice and even once the game starts. The league has made efforts to increase the competitiveness in recent years, including giving a larger bonus to the winning team.
"There's a difference between the winning share and losing share. That's a big motivator," Harbaugh said with a laugh. "I'm going to have a good halftime speech ready. We'll motivate them."