With the Baltimore Ravens having been recently penalized yet again for offseason practice infractions, their head coach, John Harbaugh is now in rarefied air in terms of active head coaches who have been disciplined multiple times.
According to the Baltimore Sun, there are only four head coaches who have been disciplined more than once. Harbaugh is one of three that have been disciplined at least three times now.
Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks stands alone with four infractions, with three of them being for practice violations. The other member of the club is of course Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, who has received fines for both ‘Spygate’ and ‘Deflategate’, as well as for an on-field incident in 2012 in which he grabbed an official’s arm, which occurred at the end of a loss to…the Ravens. Harbaugh received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in that same game for bumping into an official, but was not fined.
Harbaugh has been the Ravens’ head coach since 2008, coming in just a year after Mike Tomlin became the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tomlin has been fined once, by the way, and I’m sure we all remember what that was. He received a $100,000 fine for impeding Jacoby Jones during a kickoff return.
The Ravens under their current head coach, like the Seahawks, have been disciplined on three separate occasions since 2010 because of the manner in which they conduct their offseason workouts, and it’s worth noting that the infraction in 2010 came during the prior Collective Bargaining Agreement, before offseason workouts were significantly curtailed.
In that season, Harbaugh’s third, the NFLPA lodged a complaint against the Ravens for the intensity of their offseason practices and the amount of time players were expected to be at the facility, which resulted in them losing an offseason camp.
“When you make a mistake, you step up”, he said at the time. “We’re accountable. As [General Manager Ozzie [Newsome] said, it won’t happen again”. But of course it happened again, and then again.
He was fined $137,223 in 2015, the Ravens were fined $343,057, and the team lost three OTAs because they had player donning full practice pads during rookie minicamp. They argued that they were not aware the rules for OTAs also applied to rookie minicamp. They lost.
Finally, the team last week was fined $100,000, and Harbaugh $50,000, with the Ravens also losing two OTA practices, for violating rules about contact during pass coverage drills. Harbaugh complained that the team had been singled out.
Apparently he decided somewhere along the lines to give up being accountable and instead complain to be victimized. No other team in the NFL has ever received discipline because they didn’t realize rookie shouldn’t be in pads during rookie minicamp.