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Harbaugh brothers stage dramatic Super Bowl

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Harbaugh brothers stage dramatic Super Bowl

NEW ORLEANS (AP) It sounded as if John Harbaugh was happy his Ravens nearly blew a three-touchdown lead in the Super Bowl.

The fact that Baltimore had to hold on the stressful way, with a defensive stand near its own goal line inside the final two minutes of a 34-31 victory, meant that the triumphant coach's younger brother had done pretty well, too, in the biggest game of either of their lives.

``I just knew with Jim Harbaugh being on the other sideline and all of those years we have been together that game was going to be a dog fight right to the end,'' John Harbaugh said. ``Those guys were coming back. There's no greater competitor and no greater coach in the National Football League or in the world, as far as I'm concerned, than Jim Harbaugh. The way that team played proves it. ... That is who he is and that is who they are.

``I could not be more proud of him.''

With their parents watching from a private suite in the Superdome, the Harbaugh brothers put on a championship game to remember.

First, it was the Ravens who raced to a 28-6 lead after Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff a Super Bowl-record 108 yards for a score.

Then, came a power outage, which delayed the game for 34 minutes. With the players sitting on their benches or stretching near the sideline as they waited for play to resume, Jim Harbaugh went to work.

His 49ers went on a surge of their own, and younger brother Jim had John on the ropes. The 49ers closed to 31-29 in the fourth quarter missing a 2-point conversion that would have tied it. The Niners were down only 34-29 when they had a first-and-goal on the 7 in the final minutes, but couldn't quite pull off what would have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and the Ravens took a late safety in their effort to wind down the final seconds.

The short postgame embrace between the Harbaugh brothers, in which Jim briefly touched John's face, ``was probably the most difficult thing I've ever done, ever been associated with in my life,'' John said.

``Jim is a great competitor,'' John Harbaugh added. ``I just love him, obviously. I think anybody out there who has a brother can understand. I just believe in him and I have so much respect for him. I admire him. I look up to him in so many ways and I am hurting for him in that sense.''

John Harbaugh said he simply told Jim, younger by 15 months, that he loved him, and that Jim congratulated him.

One thing was clear: The Harbaugh family threw a Super party. Their parents, Jack and Jackie, had delighted the media with their gracious, outgoing manner leading up to a game that had more than its share of excitement.

``It was a heck of a football game,'' Jim Harbaugh said, adding that he told his brother he was proud of him.

Jim Harbaugh indicated he was still upset about a couple of decisions by officials - particularly the Niners' last offensive play, a fourth-down incompletion intended for Michael Crabtree - but asserted, ``We want to handle this thing with class and grace.''

After the game, Jack and Jackie stood nearby as John took the interview podium as the winning coach. Neither parent smiled much, clearly dealing with mixed feelings, although they looked proud.

``I knew it was going to be a hard-fought game and very, very competitive,'' Jack Harbaugh said. ``I'm so proud of John. We talked about where he started at Western Michigan University as a graduate assistant, and then to stand on this stage with the ultimate prize, I'm just so proud of him - and so proud of Jim. ... I knew he was coming back. He was going to fight back and he did and made it a great football game, maybe one of the great games in Super Bowl history.''

After watching John Harbaugh address the media, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh made their way across the ground level of the Superdome to the 49ers locker room, where Jack spoke with Jim behind closed doors. The Harbaugh parents had predicted that their thoughts would likely be more with whoever lost the game, because they figured that son would need them most.

``I'm just happy it was such a great game,'' Jackie Harbaugh said. ``I'm happy for John. I know how much Jim wanted this game, too. That's the way they are. It was right down to the bitter end, really. It's all in the family, so that's nice, and after this day's over, they'll go back to work.''

The leadup to this game was all about the Harbaughs - the first time siblings had coached against each other in the championship game. Every day for nearly two weeks, the two were asked about each other's careers - John was forthcoming, Jim less so.

They had their own news conferences in which they said their family motto was: ``Who has it better than us?''

It would hard to find another family in the NFL that does right now, even if one of them just lost the biggest game in which he'd ever coached.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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