Life returning to normal for Ravens coach John Harbaugh

Harbaugh is leaving behind the hoopla of the title to prepare for 2013 season

  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh holds the Lombardi Trophy after winning the Super Bowl.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh holds the Lombardi Trophy after… (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY…)
March 04, 2013|Mike Preston

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is back into the routine at the Castle. He is turning down speaking engagements and book deals and watching video of potential draft picks.

The euphoria of being a winning Super Bowl head coach is finally starting to die down.

"I'm getting into the routines again," said Harbaugh, about to enter his sixth season in Baltimore. "I'm watching every guy in the draft. I've got to do that, I've got to know who we're drafting and if I can help.

"I get a report every night from our coordinators on what they did and it gives me a chance to weigh in as well. "It's amazing how many things go on — how many parallel things like the draft, free agency and negotiations — go on at the same time."

It's always been like that, but it's different this year because the Ravens won the Super Bowl, which put them weeks, and in some cases months, behind other teams.

Even the losers of the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers, have a head start on the Ravens in the offseason because of the celebrations and commitments associated with being the champions.

Harbaugh simply outperformed his young brother, Jim (49ers head coach) during the Super Bowl and the week leading up to the game, but the aftermath has been a whirlwind.

After the game, he spent hours greeting, meeting and partying with his coaches, their wives, family members and others in the organization.

He spent several hours at the team party dancing with his daughter, Alison, 11, before sleeping about an hour and then attending the press conference for the winning coach.

"When I got back to the hotel, I put my feet up and drank a diet Pepsi," Harbaugh said. "I wasn't interested in drinking anything else because of the emotional high. I really wanted to see the highlights of the game because it was like a blur.

"It was all kind of crazy from the way the game ended right into the parade."

Just how crazy?

The Ravens didn't have their postgame prayer or dedication of the game until two days after the Super Bowl was over. Before Harbaugh knew it, he was standing in front of a crowd of 70,000 fans at M&T Bank Stadium for the team parade.

Since then, Harbaugh has been flooded with numerous speaking engagements and tons of book offers.

He will speak only at a couple and isn't ready to write a book even though he has quite a resume having coached in three AFC championship games and won a Super Bowl.

Harbaugh did make an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on the Thursday night following the Super Bowl. He couldn't get out of that one.

Boss's order.

"I didn't want to do it, it wasn't me," Harbaugh said. "But everyone told me I had to do it. Steve called up and basically ordered me to do it, so I did it. It was cool, kind of different. I got to meet an Elvis impersonator and The Flying Nun.

"Those speaking engagements, I can't get to them all, so I'm not doing them, only a few. I could do 300 of them. The book deals started coming in the day after we won. What have I really done? Plus, I don't want to be telling other people how we do stuff. If I do write a book, I want to do it well. I have too much other stuff to do right now, and I will do it but I have to earn it."

Harbaugh is still hot.

His college alma mater, Miami University (Ohio), plans to build a full-size bronze statue of Harbaugh outside of Yager Stadium. Harbaugh will join a list of other outstanding coaches like Paul Brown, Weeb Ewbank, Ara Parseghian and Bo Schembechler.

Like the book deal, Harbaugh was uncomfortable with the statue but went along with it after two Miami officials persuaded him at the scouting combine in Indianapolis about a week ago.

"It's not the statue, but to be recognized with that group of coaches is really neat," Harbaugh said.

Everything seems to have settled down now. Harbaugh did get a chance to sneak off to New York for a few days with his family to watch Spider Man and walk around Central Park. He has started reading two books and will start playing golf again soon.

But for now, he is back in his office watching film of college players and potential free agents. Harbaugh won't reveal much, but it's safe to say the Ravens want to patch up the middle of their run defense so the priorities in the offseason are finding a defensive tackle and linebacker. They'll also be looking for a rookie safety and a couple of veterans to fill out the offensive line.

As for the 2013 message, Harbaugh already has one prepared.

"Here's my theory: it's not going to be as simple as put it away, it's behind us, we're moving on," said Harbaugh of winning the championship. "I don't think that is realistic or fair. We are the 2012 defending champion. That team will walk together forever. That is something we should hold onto. It was a great accomplishment, we gave 100 percent and that's how we did it.

"We should be 100 percent motivated going forward and 100 percent in trying to become the 2013 champion. There is no fine line, no balancing act. You can give 100 percent to your family, 100 percent to your job. You should give 100 percent to being the best father you can be, 100 percent to being the best coach you can be. That's the message and now we just have to go back to work."

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