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Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh responds to criticism from Denver Broncos

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was not necessarily in the diplomatic mood one day after his team defeated Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos.

This entire drama started earlier on Monday when Fangio called out the Ravens for running the ball late in what was a 23-7 game rather than taking a knee.

“Yeah I thought it was kind of bull— but I expected it from them. Thirty-seven years in pro ball and I’ve never seen anything like that. But it was to be expected and we expected it,” Fangio told reporters. “I just know how they operate. That’s just their mode of operation there. Player safety is secondary.”

Shots fired. The gauntlet thrown down. Whatever way you want to explain this, it’s pretty darn clear that Fangio has an issue with John Harbaugh and his teams. It’s also interesting in that he served as an assistant under Harbaugh in Baltimore in 2008 and 2009.

Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh responds to Vic Fangio

baltimore ravens' john harbaugh
Ravens coach John Harbaugh walks off the field after the Ravens defeat the Lions, 19-17, at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 (Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

For his part, Harbaugh decided to respond to criticism from his former assistant. He did not mince words.

“Throwing the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds left, I don’t know if that’s there’s a 16-point touchdown that’s going to be possible right there,” Harbaugh told reporters.

That was in response to Denver attempting to get a touchdown late in a game that was already over. In reality, Fangio preaching player safety after that is somewhat interesting. Harbaugh also spoke to his individual relationship with Fangio.

“I thought we were on good terms. We had a nice chat before the game,” the Super Bowl-winning head coach said. “But I promise you, I’m not going to give that insult one second of thought. What’s meaningful to us is not necessarily meaningful to them.”

There’s also a pretty intriguing backdrop to all of this.

Fangio served as the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh back in 2012 when John’s Ravens team defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII. Whether that plays a role in these war of words remains to be seen.