Jerry Coleman: NFL Holding Ravens Hostage Over Rice Decision
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Although he walked a tight rope when asked about the NFL’s ruling on RB Ray Rice and a potential suspension, you could tell by the tone of his voice, Coach John Harbaugh is not pleased with the amount of time it’s taking to announce a penalty.
As Training camp opened, the Ravens still have received no indication as to when the league will announce any discipline for Rice, most specifically a lengthy suspension that could have a major impact on the club.
Harbaugh estimated that no adjustments will be required, until after their second preseason contest.
“We’ll just be business as usual until then, We’re installing [the offense and defense] for the first six days [of training camp] and work situations through the first two preseason games. Once we get past the second preseason game, then we’ll need to know. Whenever they’re ready to let us know, we’ll be ready to hear it.”
It was back in February (on Valentines Day) in Atlantic City, when Rice was charged with knocking his – at the time – fiancé unconscious. Then the legal process played out on May 20th, when he was accepted into a NJ Pretrial Intervention Program to avoid going to trial on aggravated assault charges. On June 16th, Rice and his wife Janay met in person with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at his NY office and here in late July the wait drags on. What the holdup is is anyone’s guess – including the Ravens’. But the. NFL is certainly doing them no favors with their brand of “Unspeedy Justice.” Harbaugh when pressed about the delay chose his words carefully: “It’s not for me to say. It’s not my decision to make or any of us here. It’s in other people’s hands,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure there are a lot of complications in making those kind of decisions. There are many sides to every story. There are a lot of factors. There are other people involved; there are other disciplinary situations involved around the league. They have to be weighed in and taken in context, and they’re going to have to sort through that to be fair about the whole thing. I know the league is very judicious about that. I think they work really hard to do the right thing. I don’t think they worry about public opinion too much. I think they want to do the right thing by the people involved and see where it goes.”
Talking about arrests has become a tiresome topic for the head coach. Especially after cornerback Jimmy Smith was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct on July 12th
“I understand what happened,” Harbaugh said. “I heard it from a lot of different sources and I haven’t thought about it since. I think I’ve given it the amount of attention that it deserves.”
When the veterans report this week both Rice and Smith will be there. And while Smith is not expected to face any discipline, Rice, the Ravens and their fans wait on the commish.