Monday Morning Harbaugh; Not happy about the late-hit

Every Monday, win or lose, John Harbaugh steps infront of the mic to take questions about the game from all of Baltimore’s media members. Here are some of the highlights of what went down in today’s press conference:

After the game, Derrick Mason said that Joe Flacco doesn’t get some of the penalty calls against him that a guy like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady does. Do you feel like that may be the case?
“Well, I don’t know to make comparisons. I know he’s not getting the calls. I mean, it’s a fact over the last three years; that’s just documented. So, I think the officials do the best job they can, and we support them in trying to do the best job they can.”

My Take: I love when Harbaugh tells it how it actually is and doesn’t sugarcoat his answers. It really is unbelievable to watch the “top-tier” quarterbacks get the treatment that they do. I really don’t think the refs have a personal vendetta against the Ravens, but it just seems that they miss a lot of big-time calls that, in the end, turn out to hurt the Ravens (the no-call offensive pass interference against Atlanta come to mind). I wish the refs could call a more consistent game, but it seems like that will never happen. At least until these refs start getting fines or some sort of punishment for mistakes that they make.

Is playing two divisional opponents for the final two games of the season a disadvantage?
“I don’t know if it’s a disadvantage, because [the Steelers] have to play them [late in the season as well]. I think they played the Bengals a week or two ago. The Browns and the Bengals know us, and we know them. There’s no intimidation factor; there’s no unknown factor. They know what they’re going to get; we know what we’re going to get. I think that gives them an opportunity to win the game, and that’s how they’re going to look at it. We’re going to have our hands full. It’s going to be two tough football games, and we need to win them both. I think you’re exactly right.”

My Take: I honestly believe the Ravens will have their hands full these next two weeks. Playing teams with nothing to lose is a dangerous thing. Especially when jobs are also on the line. Baltimore usually has their way with teams they should beat, but that pattern has to change at some point. I’m not saying the Browns pull the upset this week, but I am cautioning the Ravens to be careful and take care of business Sunday.

Do you believe TE Todd Heap will be able to return for the remaining regular season games or the postseason?
“I am certain he’ll play. I assume it will be before the end of the regular season. Actually, I was just talking to [vice president of medical services/head certified athletic trainer] Bill [Tessendorf] just now, and he’s fairly optimistic he’s going to play this week. Again, a hamstring [injury] is so hard to determine. Todd needs two or three good days of practice, probably, realistically. So, if that tips our hand a little bit, so be it. But, we’re going to try to get him ready for this game because we think we’re going to need him. Of course, we could have used him last time, but you only want a healthy Todd Heap. We also want a guy who is going to be ready for the long haul, too. We don’t want to have a re-injury and knock him out for more weeks. So, that’s kind of the line we’re walking right now.”

My Take: Let Heap rest up for the playoffs. While both the Bengals and Browns have given the Ravens trouble this year, they don’t need a Heap that isn’t 100 percent. Plus, Ed Dickson looks just fine in the TE spot right now and this experience he’s getting could be crucial down the road.