Ravens coach John Harbaugh has backtracked from comments he made Tuesday morning regarding the Patriots and possibly bending the rules. In an interview with a Baltimore radio station on Tuesday morning, Harbaugh sounded like he was taking a shot at New England.
“In the end everything is brought before the light of day when it’s all said and done. ... So what happens is, even the thing in New England and the thing ... No matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now. It’s been stained. So to me it’s never worth it.
“You’ve got to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage, you’ve got to figure out ways to make the most of everything, we’ve got new work rules here as far as what we can do and what we can’t do with our players, we’re going to make the most of it and what we’re finding is, man, in a way we can do things even better than we did before because these rules make us focus more on things we didn’t focus on before, and you’ve got to make them work for you. That’s what success is in the world -- you’ve got to find a way to do things better than somebody else. But in the end, if you’re cheating, you’re going to get discredited. It’s just not worth it.”
In a statement released by the Ravens Tuesday afternoon, Harbaugh attempted to clarify those comments.
“While on the 98 Rock show this morning to talk about the run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research, I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain. My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league’s actions.
“I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints. I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill (Belichick) and Sean (Payton) both know that.
“There has been some distortion about what I said.
“The original tweet indicated I pointed the finger at Bill Belichick and mentioned Bill’s name. I did not. I have so much respect for Coach Belichick and the job he does and has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career. I called him to remind him of my respect for him. I also reached out to Tedy Bruschi, who rightfully defended those Patriot players and coaches on ESPN, to tell him that I agree with him that the Patriots earned every victory.”
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