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Tom Crean, brother-in-law of John Harbaugh, gives postgame speech to Ravens

Tom Crean, brother-in-law of John Harbaugh, gives postgame speech to Ravens

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.


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Steelers bolster secondary by trading for disgruntled Minkah Fitzpatrick

Steelers bolster secondary by trading for disgruntled Minkah Fitzpatrick

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the Ravens will have to deal with Minkah Fitzpatrick two more times this season.

The Steelers boosted their secondary by adding Fitzpatrick in a trade with the Dolphins on Monday night. The Steelers sent their 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for the cornerback.

The Dolphins, after their opening week loss to the Ravens, gave permission for Fitzpatrick to seek a trade. Then the Steelers came calling. 

Fitzpatrick is a second-year defensive back who was a 2018 first-round pick out of Alabama. He expressed frustration in recent weeks about playing out of position and the team's lack of direction. 

Against the Ravens, Fitzpatrick was torched in the secondary that allowed Lamar Jackson to throw for five touchdowns in a 59-10 win. 

The Steelers will most likely have Fitzpatrick fully integrated to the lineup by the time they host the Ravens on Oct. 6. They'll head to Baltimore on Dec. 29 in Week 17.

At 0-2, the Steelers are making a big gamble on Fitzpatrick and his future in the league considering what their 2020 draft pick could be.


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In slight to Ravens and others, Steve Young says AFC is a ‘wrap’

In slight to Ravens and others, Steve Young says AFC is a ‘wrap’

Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens have looked impressive. Yes, it's a small sample size, but a 2-0 record compounded with strong performances from Lamar Jackson and others has the team looking like it could be a strong contender in the conference.

It's early, but it's not crazy to think that the Ravens at least have a chance of being the team to come out of the AFC or competing for the conference title.

Yet according to ESPN's NFL analyst Steve Young, that won't be the case. Not because the Ravens aren't a good football team, but because Young believes there are others that are far superior. Those teams being the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. 

"It's a wrap. It's a wrap on the AFC except for the Chiefs," Young said on the pregame show for Monday Night Football. "I know that's going to make the Buffalo Bills mad, gonna make the Ravens, a lot teams, the Chargers. There's a lot of teams that need to play football to get there. But to me, it's a wrap to the Championship game."

Young does have the Chiefs as a team he sees making it to the conference game, but his main point is that no one is dethroning the Patriots. Not Patrick Mahomes, and not Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

It isn't hard to understand where Young is coming from. Two dominant wins to open the season and the acquisition of star receiver Antonio Brown for Tom Brady has made an already lethal offense even more dangerous. Once again it's still early, but the defending Super Bowl champions seem to have gotten even better.

Add that to their consistent success over the past decade, and Young feels as if he knows where this season is going.

"We've seen this movie so many times, why would we think it would be anything different?" Young said. "I used to think, 'Oh you can't play that about football, there's too many variables.' My point is, the Patriots are the team. It's early September, I think it's done. It's a done deal."

As Young says there, football is a game of variables, and we're not even a quarter of the way into the season and things can certainly change. Maybe the Patriots are going to run through the league again, but maybe they won't. Maybe the same can be said for the Ravens' hot start. Only time will tell.

But, even with that, Young has a feeling it will Belichick and Brady once again rising to the top of the AFC.