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Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh Has Plenty Of Respect For Steelers’ Organization

The Pittsburgh Steelers/Baltimore Ravens matchups are a rivalry but one rooted in respect, not hate. Two franchises that have been consistent winners with clear identities. Run the ball, be physical, play great defense. They’re two teams that have had little turnover at the top with the same head coaches since 2008: Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh with Tomlin, of course, brought on one year before Harbaugh’s hiring.

Speaking to the media Friday, Harbaugh talked up the Steelers’ franchise and the respect he has for the entire organization.

“[I have] a lot of respect for [Steelers head coach] Mike [Tomlin] obviously, a lot of respect for the Steelers, the Rooney family, really everything,” he told reporters as transcribed by the Ravens’ staff. “To be a part of that is definitely a privilege. It’s definitely something that is very meaningful.”

As Missi Matthews pointed out on Twitter earlier in the week, Tomlin and Harbaugh have faced each other the second-most of any head coach pairing in NFL history only behind legends George Halas and Curly Lambeau.

Each coach has made their side among the league’s most successful clubs. Ones who build through the draft, not free agency, producing some amazing battles along the way. At its peak, and arguably still today, there’s no better rivalry than Steelers/Ravens with games that are almost always decided in the final five minutes. Last season, their two games were decided by a combined four points, Pittsburgh winning both, while in 2020, they were decided by nine total points. Again, the Steelers took both, a rare four-game winning streak in what’s typically been an even series.

The last time this series has been decided by more than one score came in the 2019 regular season finale, the last time the Ravens won, doing so 28-10 over the Steelers. A game in which the Steelers saw their slim playoff hopes evaporate in the middle of the game, flopping at the end of a rainy and messy day.

While the players on the field have changed over the years, two constants remain. Tomlin. Harbaugh. That’s all you need to go to get up for the two teams. Steelers. Ravens. See you Sunday.

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