Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh joined the Bay Area media to discuss the upcoming matchup between the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh talked about how well the Niners are playing, how much of an impact Greg Roman has had on the offense, and much more.
On why he brought Greg Roman in and if his success with the 49ers had anything to do with it
“Yes. And also because Jim thought so highly of him, too. And I’ve known Greg, also, over the years just through league circles and stuff, and respected him, and knew what kind of good guy he was. Obviously Greg Roman is here,” Harbaugh told reporters. “He was a huge part of that there with my brother. I always admired what they did; the physicality of it, and the creativity of it were something that I always kind of felt good about probably because Jim and I were both kind of raised that way. All the way back, I think that’s my dad’s (Jack Harbaugh) approach to the game. It always was, so we probably see it through the same lens. Yeah, that probably had a part of it.”
On the strides Lamar Jackson has made this season
“He’s improved all across the board. That’s the thing about playing quarterback: It’s never one thing. There’s just too much involved for it to be one thing. You can have a cannon for an arm and all that, and it doesn’t make you a quarterback. It’s like a guy who wins long drive contest — it doesn’t make him a Masters champion. Lamar has worked all along in every area equally and has improved all across the board.”
I asked Harbaugh how he would stop Jackson. He didn’t bite, but he said all week they work on counters they expect the opposing defenses to do. That’s wise. They are trying to stay one step ahead of your opponent.
On the 49ers
I asked Harbaugh to describe San Francisco’s defense in three words. He didn’t hesitate and said, “tough, physical, and pursuit.” The last word is critical. Green Bay tried to play sideline to sideline against the 49ers and failed miserably. There is too much team speed to do that. I’d expect Baltimore to come right at the defense.
“They’re playing winning football. I give Coach Shanahan a ton of credit. He’s built a really good football team, him and John Lynch. They have obviously a great front, but the whole defense plays so hard. The offensive line is very physical. They spread the ball around to everybody on offense. Jimmy Garoppolo does a nice job taking what the defense gives him. He has really good arm talent; he’s very accurate. Running backs run hard. They’re creative on what to do on offense. Special teams are excellent. The team plays really hard, really physical, and that’s what jumps out at you.”
Sunday, we won’t just see “good on good,” we’ll see “best on best.”