Chiefs coach Todd Haley was upset with Ravens coach John Harbaugh after Friday night’s preseason game, telling Harbaugh that he didn’t appreciate the Ravens running up the score in their 31-13 win.
Baltimore scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game, including one with just five seconds left, and Haley thought Harbaugh should have had his quarterback taking a knee, not leading a touchdown drive.
Harbaugh began his post-game press conference by addressing the issue.
“I want to apologize to the Chiefs if they feel like we were not doing the right thing at the end of the game,” Harbaugh said. “That wasn’t the midset, OK? The mindset was – this is the preseason. If this had been the regular season, we would’ve been on a knee. The idea in that situation is to give those young guys who work hard and who are trying to make a football team – this football team or another football team – to play the whole 60 minutes and give them a chance to show what they can do. Offensive line, running backs, everybody.”
In other words, Harbaugh would rather get his third-string offense some work than spare the feelings of the Chiefs’ players who didn’t want the score run up on them.
“I know that’s debatable, I know there’s a point of view both ways, I understand that,” Harbaugh said. “But I just feel like that was the right thing to do for our players, to give them a chance to play the game out and see what they can do.”
Harbaugh said Haley made it clear to him that he wasn’t happy about it, and Harbaugh made clear that he meant no offense.
“I think he said something like, ‘I don’t know about that,’” Harbaugh said. “I understood, and I just said, ‘Preseason, preseason for the young guys.’ He said ‘OK.’ I’ve got a lot of respect for Todd Haley, and a lot of respect for the Chiefs.”
Haley was involved in a similar incident last season, when he refused to shake the hand of Broncos coach Josh McDaniels after the Broncos blew out the Chiefs. Haley clearly doesn’t like it when opposing teams score a lot of points on his team. Maybe his anger would be better directed at his own defense than at opposing coaches.