Harbaugh doesn't "understand" rationale behind taunting penalties

Coach defends Rice, Pollard as players who exemplify class

October 31, 2011|By Edward Lee

Both running back Ray Rice and strong safety Bernard Pollard expressed puzzlement about the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taunting they absorbed during the Ravens’ 30-27 win against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday.

Count coach John Harbaugh as another who is interested in the NFL illuminating the issue.

“I’m going to have to save that for the league, to be honest with you,” Harbaugh said when asked for his perspective on the calls. “I don’t understand them. So we’ll look forward to seeing how the league explains them to us.”

A little later, Harbaugh staunchly defended Rice and Pollard.

“We try to play with class. If you look at Ray Rice for instance, this guy is nothing but class,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been that way from the first day he stepped on campus, so to speak. He’s a star, and he plays with emotion and enthusiasm. I look at Bernard the same way. And that’s the way Pittsburgh plays. And that’s the way the great teams in this league play. We play with enthusiasm, with emotion and love for the game. The NFL’s drawn a real clear line on what’s tolerated and what’s not tolerated, and I think our guys are very good at understanding that, and our guys are very respectful of their opponents. So we just try to walk on that line.”

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