Ravens’ Harbaugh addresses questions about late-game hustle

John Harbaugh's Ravens are off to their worst start in franchise history at 1-5.
Kelley L Cox/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh doesn’t agree with CBS television analyst Rich Gannon’s assessment that his players weren’t hustling to the line in the closing seconds of Sunday’s loss in San Francisco. 

Gannon was critical of the Ravens decision making and execution throughout Sunday’s broadcast, but when he saw what he perceived to be a lack of hustle on the part of the team’s offensive linemen, he was quick to pounce.

"These guys aren’t even running," Gannon shouted while attempting to circle Eugene Monroe and Kelechi Osemele with his telestrator. "Go back and show these guys jogging to the football. It’s amazing. … You’ve got to understand the situation in the game."

"We were trying to get to the line as fast as we could and get the plays called as quickly as we could,” Harbaugh said via the team’s official website. "Could it have been done faster? Sure. We want to do it as fast as we possibly can. It’s not like we’re not trying to do that. We’ve just got to execute it better."

Trailing 25-20, there were 25 seconds left at the end of Joe Flacco’s 22-yard completion to Steve Smith Sr. at the San Francisco 40. By the time Flacco snapped the ball to stop the clock, it was down to 14 seconds. Large offensive linemen aren’t the fastest players in the world, but 11 seconds to run 20-to-25 yards does seem a little lengthy. Right guard Marshal Yanda was actually trailing Monroe and Osemele by about five yards at first, but made it to the line at roughly the same time. 

So does that mean that Monroe and Osemele were winded, or even worse, dogging it? Harbaugh answered with a simple "no" when asked about their perceived lack of hustle.

"They’re getting up there as fast as they can and we’re calling plays," Harbaugh said.

Regardless of perception, there’s no dodging the fact that the Ravens are one of the most disappointing teams on the young season at 1-5, and Gannon summed it up succinctly.

“This has been the story this year for these Ravens," he said via Russell Street Report. "So close and yet so far away. They haven’t been able to finish, whether it’s been offensively or defensively."


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