Reporting Mike Popovec
I have gone back and forth with listeners and texters and Facebook friends of my Mike Popovec 105-7 The Fan Facebook page on all the changes in Owings Mills. I like to keep an open mind and we have a healthy debate. You could explain the reasons each player was either traded, released or not re-signed when it comes to Reed, Pollard and Boldin. Those would be age/salary cap, lack of pass defense and salary cap. If you think the decisions have to do strictly with Harbaugh and getting rid of vocal guys because of ego I would argue that it cannot be that simple. Ozzie Newsome just doesn’t get rid of players because John does not like them. Do you think if Ed Reed were at the peak of his career and five years younger that they would cut a future Hall of Famer because Harbaugh did not get a long with him? I doubt it. They would have to work through it. So for instance in the case of Bernard Pollard, if Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta really thought that Pollard could greatly help this team for the next couple of years, he would still be here. That is not to say that if there is a problem there and they think they can replace him with an equal or better player they might not do it but certainly not with a lesser player.
We saw players complain to Steve Bisciotti who ultimately dismissed Brian Billick with a few years and a good amount of money left on his contract. John Harbaugh is tough on players and may even be uneven when dealing with them at times but he has gotten results. You do not have that much success with being a bad coach. He is not perfect and has his flaws no doubt. However even if you believe the success is somehow all despite him which to me is tough to swallow but keeping an open mind…I find it hard to believe that if things were so bad between the players and Harbaugh that Ozzie and Steve would allow that to continue be the case. If things were so tenuous I am sure they would talk to him and maybe they have done so…
The changes that have been made are because its the direction the front office and Harbaugh believes need to take to get better NOT WORSE. Mind you even Ozzie admitted the Boldin trade was a real tough one, I don’t think they wanted to trade him but Boldin would not budge on the money and he earned that right especially given his playoff performance. Steve Bisciotti has made a fortune in investing in people and advising them. He has even said that Harbaugh was much easier to work with from the get go because he did not have a Super Bowl yet like Billick and it was tough to tell Billick anything. Well we saw where that got him, SB or not. Yes Harbaugh now has an SB but Bisciotti has already fired a coach with an SB so the precedent has been set.
It is John’s team now no doubt and some new players hearing Harbaugh’s message for the first time is not a bad thing either as compared to veterans with double digit years in the league. Maybe I am drinking the purple Kool-Aid but I would like to think that five years from now we will see that all this backlash at John Harbaugh and the front office will prove those critics wrong. You ought to hope for it because that means the Ravens will continue to do what they have done for the last five years and that’s win.