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'Dry run' gives Harbaughs idea of what to expect


'Dry run' gives Harbaughs idea of what to expect

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jack and Jackie Harbaugh are spending Super Bowl week celebrating the good fortune of having two sons at the pinnacle of pro football.

Once the Super Bowl between John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens and Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers has ended this Sunday night, the parents know their first priority will be expressing sympathy to the coach who didn't get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

``The one thing that I do think about is after the game. There is going to be one winner and there is going to be one that is going to be totally disappointed. My thoughts go to that one that will not experience the thrill of victory,'' Jack Harbaugh said. ``That's where our thoughts will be.''

Harbaugh explained that he and Jackie had a ``dry run'' on how to handle the postgame last season when the Niners lost at Baltimore on Thanksgiving night.

After leaving an office in the stadium where they watched the game - in private and emotionless - the first locker room they walked past was that of the Ravens.

``We've all experienced that excitement of victory-guys jumping up and down, the smile on John's face. They were just ecstatic. ... Then you realize that you're not needed here,'' Jack said. ``You walk across the hall, and you went into the 49ers locker room and you walked and you saw the players walking about - that look in their eyes, that look of not being successful and coming up short. We opened up a couple doors and finally saw Jim all by himself in this room, just a table and a chair. He was still in his coaching outfit. His head down in his hands and you looked into his eyes and you realized that this where you're needed as a parent.

``Every single parent can identify with that,'' he continued. ``On Sunday night, we're going to experience both of those great emotions. Our thoughts will be with the one that comes up a little short.''

Now comes the second act in New Orleans, which happens to be the home of another set of parents who can relate to watching NFL games involving two of their sons on opposing teams: the Mannings.

As it turns out, Jack Harbaugh said, Archie Manning called before the Niners-Ravens Thursday night tilt last season to offer some advice.

``The advice was this, `This will be over on Friday. I promise you it will be over on Friday,''' Harbaugh recalled. ``Sure enough it was great advice and that's exactly how it happened.''

The elder Harbaugh was a longtime coach himself, and a former assistant of Bo Schembechler at Michigan, where Jim quarterback before a playing career in the NFL, followed by a college coaching career and then his NFL head coaching debut just last season in San Francisco.

Jack credited Jackie for taking their sons to Michigan practices when they were young so they could learn about what their father did during long days at work. And he was thrilled that they wanted to play and later coach football.

Now that has put them in the spotlight in the Big Easy, where the Harbaugh parents were fittingly at ease as they sat - talk show style - in lounge chairs in front of a large crowd of international media.

Jack opened the news conference by loudly asking, rhetorically, ``Who has it better than us?''

Then he and Jackie both exclaimed, ``Nobody!''

It appeared well rehearsed because it has long been a family motto.

But when it comes to navigating the rest of Super Bowl week, they acknowledged they were neophytes, and didn't have much of a plan beyond spending time with relatives and friends. They didn't even know where they were sitting for the game. They added that both sons have simply urged them to make sure they enjoy the experience.

When asked if the knowledge that one son will lose will diminish their enjoyment of the game, Jackie Harbaugh said, ``I don't think so because we will see both of them after the game. We're going to hug both of them and tell them how proud we are of them.''

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?