John Harbaugh takes swing at media over coverage of skirmishes

John Harbaugh takes swing at media over coverage of skirmishes
August 9, 2014, 10:45 am
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We’re going to look for the positive, you all can look for the negative.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. –- One of the Harbaugh brothers had some choice words Saturday for the media.

As it turns out, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was the non-confrontational of the NFL's coaching brother act.

The 49ers and Baltimore Ravens set up three days of padded practices -- Saturday, Sunday and Monday -- after matching up in the first exhibition game of the season on Thursday. Ravens coach John Harbaugh took the opportunity before the first practice to chide the media what he expects to be highlighted in the coverage of the practices.

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“Our idea is to focus on getting better,” John Harbaugh said. “What’s interesting to me, and what’s a real indictment on you as the media is the fact that (cornerback) Jimmy Smith was asked about it and he said when he sees these things on TV, all he ever sees is fights.

“What does that tell you? Have a little self-check. So we’re probably going to have 99-percent all great and positive things, but if there’s a little shoving match out there, I’m quite sure that’s what’s going to be on these cameras and it’ll be country-wide, and that’ll be everybody’s take on how it went.”

Harbaugh added, “We’re going to look for the positive, you all can look for the negative. I’m going after the media here -- with a smile on my face.”

Harbaugh, however, was not smiling.

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Jim Harbaugh said he has spoken with his brother about working together so that both teams get the most out of the experience. There will be no live tackling among the regulars. Also, cut blocks will not be allowed.

“We feel like it’s in the best interest of both teams to do that,” Jim Harbaugh said. “We want to take care of the Ravens. We want to be safe out here. And we need them to do the same for us. That’s the kind of environment where iron sharpens iron. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for good practice work. These aren’t games out here. This is practice and drills, and (we) expect really good practice.”

Jim Harbaugh typically kicks players out of 49ers' practices if they engage in fighting or unnecessarily rough play during practices. Will he do the same during these workouts with the Ravens?

“We don’t anticipate that,” Harbaugh said. “I know there will be many cameras assembled and gathered and I’m sure that’s what everybody’s going to be looking for, that moment when you can capture the negative. We don’t anticipate that.”

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