John Harbaugh comments

It’s only preseason, but John Harbaugh is already putting out some quality tape. The Baltimore Ravens head coach is having moments with coaches, reporters and even going Trump. Especially since it’s only preseason, it’s hard to tell whether moments like Saturday night are a just a prelude, or if Harbs is working some stuff out before prime time.

Harbaugh’s first bizarre moment came when he tried to work politics into his press conference routine. His usual hobby horse of berating refs somehow morphed into a suggestion that Donald Trump is right to want to build a border wall and people who favor giving illegal immigrants a shot at citizenship are also right.

Harbaugh appeared to be attempting to play the role of peacemaker once again on Saturday night, when the Ravens and the D.C. NFL team got into a fight on the field following a piledriver-style tackle from Washington’s Keenan Robinson. Harbaugh rushed out onto the field to pull the always-talkative Steve Smith Sr. away from the Washington bench. But Harbaugh then proceeded to give some lip service to his head coaching counterpart Jay Gruden.

At halftime, a reporter was so bold as to ask him some questions. But first they weren’t about football, then they weren’t good enough:

Gracious halftime interview from John Harbaugh

— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 30, 2015

This is a bit of a weird time for Harbaugh. He’s entering a new season as the lone Harbaugh in the NFL following his brother Jim’s departure for the University of Michigan. Yelling at people, running out onto the field and taking it out on poor reporters are Jim Harbaugh kinds of things, so there might be a willingness by the media to reshape John into a Jim narrative. The Sun’s Mike Preston is already starting with the Jim.

Given that preseason is a time for meaningless games, however, we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it’s also a time for meaningless head coaching antics. He can improve by the regular season, and should. We know he can be ready. But if Harbaugh is still giving The Donald some of much-coveted NFL airtime and going off on Erin Andrews in Week 3, then it might be time to worry.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.