Ravens coach John Harbaugh San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh… (Brian Spurlock / USA Today…)
OXFORD, OHIO -- John and Jim Harbaugh are teaming up to orchestrate what they believe is another first.
The head coaching brothers have scheduled joint practices between John's Ravens and Jim's San Francisco 49ers following the matchup between the two teams in Week One of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 7 at M&T Bank Stadium.
While more and more NFL teams are engaging in joint practices during training camp – the Ravens have not done it in recent seasons – those workouts typically occur in the days before the teams play in the preseason. John and Jim Harbaugh, however, have decided to hold the practices for the three days following the game.
“It was our idea. I called Jim about a month ago and asked him if he would want to do it. I really wasn’t sure and he said, ‘Absolutely, let’s do it,’” John Harbaugh said on Friday following his induction dinner into the Cradle of Coaches at Miami University of Ohio, his alma mater.
“We’ve been trying to figure it out for the last four weeks or so, how we would set it up. We decided to do it after the first game. We felt like the first two weeks, we needed to do our install process and all that kind of stuff and it would be better after the game. Nobody has really done one after the game that I’m aware of so this would be the first time.”
John Harbaugh said that the plan is for the two teams to have a light practice at M&T Bank Stadium the day after the game. The joint workouts would then move to the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills on Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the 49ers fly back to the West Coast to prepare for their second preseason game.
“We’ll have the full practices for three days and I think they’ll head out of town on Monday night,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just going to be fantastic. I can’t wait to do it.”
If there is any lingering bad blood between the two participants of Super Bowl XLVII in February 2012 or he and his brother’s sibling rivalry gets heated, John Harbaugh said that his father, Jack, will be on hand to officiate the workouts.
“Dad is going to be out there,” John said. “He’s going to be the unofficial official. He’s going to be in charge of breaking up all fights. If we start rolling around on the field, Dad is going to have to jump in I guess.”
Jim Harbaugh surprised John by flying in from the West Coast to attend tonight's ceremony. However, the surprise didn't go as planned.
"I figured Jim would be there. Then, you think, that’s a long flight and there’s a lot going on right now and the draft is right around the corner, the NFL opens up the conditioning programs on Monday. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know if he’s going to be able to make it,'" John Harbaugh said. "Then, he got here and I saw him. It was supposed to be a surprise. I didn’t know when I was supposed to see him but they were going to bring him out at some point in time. The gal at the front desk [of the hotel] kind of drops it [and says], ‘Well, Jim is looking forward to seeing you, he’s in his room right now.’"