BY KEVIN CONNELL (@_KevinConnell)
Indiana men’s basketball coach Tom Crean gave a rousing speech to the Ravens following their 19-18 preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
Crean, the brother-in-law of Ravens coach John Harbaugh, congratulated the team on the win, telling them it was important to “respect the fight” of the 2015 team as they head into this season.
“Don’t underestimate what you went through a year ago to get better,” Crean said, “what you went through a year ago to become more resilient, what you went through a year ago to become tougher in every area. And don’t take it for granted that it’s just another day at the office when you join the Ravens. Because when you got the opportunity to take what you did a year ago, combined with what you’ve done in the offseason to get to where we are at this present day, what you can do from this day forward is going to be incredible.”
Last season, the Ravens went 5-11, their first losing season since the Harbaugh era began in 2008 and only the second time in that stretch that they failed to reach the postseason.
In the game, the Ravens came from behind late to beat the Colts in an unusual way. After taking an 18-17 lead with 3:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Colts’ ensuing two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine and returned the other way for two points to regain the lead at 19-18.
Harbaugh introduced Crean as a guest speaker in the Ravens’ locker room after the game, which took place in Indianapolis not far from the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Indiana. Crean also met with the team at some point last season, Harbaugh said.
Crean is married to Harbaugh's sister, Joani, and has been Indiana’s coach since the 2008 season. Both John and Jim Harbaugh publicly supported Crean at Indiana’s Sweet 16 game against North Carolina in this past March’s NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers, though, lost 101-86 and the Tar Heels reached the national championship game.
The Ravens open their 2016 regular season against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11. They host the Detroit Lions this Saturday and travel to play the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 1 for their final two preseason games.