Ravens' Harbaugh is optimistic the NFL will play a full 2011 season

April 21, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Count Ravens coach John Harbaugh among those who think this week's release of the NFL's 2011 schedule -- which features a high-interest slate of Week 1 games, including Ravens-Steelers and Giants-Redskins -- is reason to believe the lockout will end before the scheduled start of the regular season.

“The way I look at it, they scheduled us and the Steelers the first week, so they must be pretty optimistic we’re going to play a full schedule," Harbaugh said yesterday on "The Norris & Davis Show" on 105.7 The Fan. "You look at the schedule, the openers all across the league are pretty compelling. … The 49ers are playing the Seahawks. For anybody that’s been covering Stanford and [USC] the last few years, that should be pretty interesting.”

Harbaugh's brother Jim, the former Stanford coach, is entering his first season as the coach of the 49ers, and ex-USC coach Pete Carroll took over the Seahawks job last offseason.

Harbaugh was also asked about Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason recently calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "a joke." Harbaugh said it was a sign of players starting to feel the pressure from being locked out.

"The one thing you can count on with Derrick Mason, he’s going to tell you what he thinks," Harbaugh said. "That is definitely true. I wasn’t surprised. … This whole thing with the lockout is tough on everybody. The money part of it’s big, but guys like Derrick, he’s been around and he’s not hurting  for money. I just think the guys, from a pride standpoint, a professional standpoint, are starting to feel it.”

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