Patriots

Ravens' John Harbaugh worried about Zoom hacking in virtual NFL Draft

Ravens' John Harbaugh worried about Zoom hacking in virtual NFL Draft

Stop us if you've heard this before: John Harbaugh is paranoid about another team breaking the rules.

The NFL told clubs Monday that the 2020 NFL Draft will be "fully virtual" with team facilities still on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That means team personnel will be sequestered separately in their homes and must rely on phone calls and Zoom video conferences with fellow coaches and executives to make their draft picks.

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Harbaugh sees a potential danger with that setup, though: Bad actors who could hack into the Baltimore Ravens' Zoom calls and steal their draft secrets.

“Yeah, big concern,” the Ravens head coach told reporters Monday in a Zoom call (ironic, right?), via the Baltimore Sun.

“Every time I read something in, like, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times that talks about how messed up Zoom is, or some of these other deals ... I immediately text it to our IT people, and [director of football administration] Nick Matteo’s one of those guys, and they assure me that we are doing everything humanly possible."

We don't envy Matteo, who apparently has to calm Harbaugh down every time the coach reads an article about Zoom.

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In fairness to Harbaugh, Zoom has experienced hacking and harassment issues (you've probably heard of "Zoombombing" by now) since social distancing measures caused an explosion in the software's usage.

He's not the only NFL coach or executive with the same concern, either: Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff worried aloud to NBC Sports' Peter King about the security of Zoom calls, while ESPN's Adam Schefter said Tuesday morning that several teams have raised security concerns about Zoom.

Zoom has beefed up its security in recent days, but those measures apparently haven't placated Harbaugh, who pointed out that supposedly high-security banks have had data breaches.

"I really wouldn’t want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings," Harbaugh said. "That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that."

Patriots fans are familiar with Harbaugh being on edge about unfair advantages, of course: The Ravens coach famously griped about the "deceptive" formations New England used in its 2014 AFC Championship Game win over Baltimore.

If you want to go there, you could argue Bill Belichick's Patriots are prime candidates to sneak onto another team's Zoom call and snag some intel.

It sounds like Harbaugh is on high alert for any shenanigans, though.

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore one of many NFL stars in powerful 'Black Lives Matter' video

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Patriots' Stephon Gilmore one of many NFL stars in powerful 'Black Lives Matter' video

Several of the NFL's biggest stars are stepping up to speak out against systemic racism and the racial injustices that once again have come to light in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore joined up with the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham Jr., Arizona Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins and a number of other high-profile black players to put together a powerful video on Thursday.

In the video, the players reveal what they would like to hear the NFL state about the racial injustices that continue to plague the country.

Watch below:

Hopefully, the league and its fans will hear their message loud and clear.

McCourty twins address Drew Brees' controversial comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

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McCourty twins address Drew Brees' controversial comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

Drew Brees has taken plenty of heat lately due to the comments he made about players "disrespecting the American flag" by kneeling during the national anthem.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback was asked during an interview with Yahoo! Finance about players kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America. Brees answered, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country."

It didn't take long for the veteran QB to get backlash for those insensitive remarks. A number of Brees' NFL peers, including both Devin and Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots, scolded him for his comments.

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On Thursday, the McCourty twins delved deeper into the subject on a special edition of their Double Coverage podcast titled "Bridge To Action." Following an enlightening interview with former FBI special agent M. Quentin Williams, which you can watch below, the McCourtys addressed the Brees situation. 

"Everybody's been in an uproar over Drew Brees' comments, and obviously we've responded on Twitter," said Jason McCourty. "Somebody had asked earlier, 'do we forgive him?' and I don't think any of this thing is about forgiveness. It's not about Drew Brees, it's not about Jason or Devin McCourty, it's about realizing, 'Alright, here's an issue and we need to find a solution for that issue.' Like, you don't have an issue with Drew Brees when he makes those statements. You have an issue with that train of thought, and that thought is what we're trying to move away from.

"So as soon as anyone who has that thought is willing to dive in and learn, and open up dialogue to talk about -- because I think sometimes we subconsciously have thoughts that we don't know we have, and then we say some things that we may have to take some time to go back and self-reflect ... Maybe I need to look inwardly and see like, 'Hey, maybe I'm not looking at this thing the right way. And I think when we're able to do that, there's no animosity or hostility toward anyone because that's not what we're trying to do. It's about there's an issue, and we want to fix this issue."

Devin McCourty doubled down on what his brother had to say and mentioned that he doesn't have anything against Brees. Rather, he hopes this will help the 41-year-old and others like him look at the situation from a different perspective.

"It's not about forgiving or hating," said Devin. "Like, I've never hated Drew Brees. I don't even know Drew Brees. So it was never about that. It was just, how can we get people to now not look through those lenses. And he's a guy who if he doesn't look through those lenses, he can get a lot of other people to feel the same way. So hopefully some good turns out from that."

Brees has since issued an apology for his comments, saying they "lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy."

Beyond the McCourty twins' comments on Brees, their interview with Williams is well worth the watch. Williams is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Dedication to Community, whose mission is to "empower individuals and communities to achieve their business and societal goals through the spirit of entrepreneurial enterprise and community advocacy. The McCourtys and Williams had a mindful conversation about the recent killings of unarmed black men, the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, and the next steps to implementing positive change in the United States.