Skip to content

Harbaugh calls Ravens’ blocking “100% legal, 100% ethical”

Ravens head coach Harbaugh chats with referee Leavy while playing against the Eagles in a NFL preseason football game in Philadelphia Pennsylvania Reuters

Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn’t appreciate the Steelers calling his offensive line dirty.

Responding to comments from the Steelers that the Ravens were taking dirty shots at their knees, Harbaugh vehemently defended his players and coaches.

“The blocking scheme that’s come up this week is one that almost every team in the National Football League runs,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve been running it for years. Some teams do it better than other teams. The block is absolutely legal. It’s 100 percent legal, and it’s 100 percent ethical, and there is no danger whatsoever in the way the block is being executed because it’s in front.”

Harbaugh is right that the blocks the Steelers were complaining about are legal, but claiming “there is no danger whatsoever” seems to be taking it too far. Just because the blocks are allowed doesn’t mean they can’t injure someone.

But Harbaugh says it’s on defensive linemen to protect themselves.

It’s the defender’s responsibility to not hold the center and keep him from getting up on the linebacker the center’s trying to block and expose himself,” Harbaugh said. “It’s his job to let that guy go and to defend himself. So, when you choose to keep that center off the linebacker, you’re choosing to leave yourself vulnerable to being cut in front. So, just play defense, I would say.”

I have a feeling that’s not an explanation that will satisfy the Steelers.

Permalink 80 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
80 Responses to “Harbaugh calls Ravens’ blocking “100% legal, 100% ethical””
  1. zoxitic says: Sep 16, 2011 2:58 PM

    Well, I guess that ends that argument.

  2. mustbejealousof6 says: Sep 16, 2011 2:59 PM

    This is the last straw!

    The Steeler Nation’s dominance in this league is unmatched (6). This is unfair to you and we understand this. That is why we are making the neccessary changes to make it work for everyone. After we win our seventh Lombardi this year we will start our own league. You get to keep your pansy league while we start a real football league for the game as it was made.

    This league will consist of the Steelers organization (this means the superior facets listed above) ONLY. We will establish rules from the ground up. These rules will stick to the foundations the game was based on. 112 members of the NFL may enter this league after deemed “pure”. We’ll introduce our own draft system that will occur every year (details still need arrangement). The orginal Steelers team (in all it’s glory) will be divided into eight teams for the first season. The system is subject to change after every football year.

    Everyone prepare for the SFL

  3. Steeler's Will says: Sep 16, 2011 3:00 PM

    See? Right there, in black and white. The Ravens did nothing wrong.

  4. firerosenthalthebastard says: Sep 16, 2011 3:01 PM

    The Steelers are just angry because they’re too old to be dirty nowadays.

  5. sambasoccer10 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:02 PM

    If it was illegal how come all the zone running team use it? And how come only the steelers are the only team to he complaining about it?

  6. shaggytoodle says: Sep 16, 2011 3:04 PM

    As someone on the outside looking in I NEVER though I would hear the Steelers wine, I guess they are getting older and softer.

  7. frankrizzo51 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:04 PM

    I HATE the Ravens. But they play the game HARD, like it is supposed to be played. And for that, I applaud them. When teams catch up to them in this aspect of the game, they will find another one to excel at.

  8. nflofficeadmin says: Sep 16, 2011 3:05 PM

    But coach, my knees just got blown out..

  9. cmich2006 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:05 PM

    Chop block meets Ngata’s knees…can’t wait

  10. Land Snark says: Sep 16, 2011 3:06 PM

    “I have a feeling that’s not an explanation that will satisfy the Steelers.”

    That’s a crying shame.

    Maybe they should take their ball, go home and start their own league so no meanies will cut block them.

  11. polishrod says: Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM

    This steelers football league garbage is getting old. The first time it was mildly entertaining, now it’s just stupid.

    Get a new joke

  12. jdfrox says: Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM

    Oh yeah Jim? Well Merril Hoge says it is illegal and he is an impartial analyst, loyal to no team!!

  13. jdfrox says: Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM

    Uh, make that John!!

  14. humbleminded85 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM

    This story was nothing until the Titans D cordinator was poppin off yesterday that he didn’t agree with the “chopblocks” and the Titans would try to hurt them cause of it. Now the story has got legs. Stop trying to portray the Ravens as dirty and worry about your own dirty players… maybe the who has Andre Johnsons knuckles embroidered on his forehead…still.

  15. profootballwalk says: Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM

    There’s no crying in football – outside Pittsburg.

  16. jimbobobjr says: Sep 16, 2011 3:08 PM

    Harbaugh is the BIGGEST whining baby every time something doesn’t go his way. He obviously had nothing to whine about this week, but the whining will come when they lose. Remember, Steeler players, when you whine you’re acting just like him.

  17. depotnator says: Sep 16, 2011 3:09 PM

    Harbaugh’s technical explanation is lost upon this thread’s author. If you can’t respond to the explanation, don’t write the thread.

  18. pfatl says: Sep 16, 2011 3:10 PM

    I see what’s happening here.

    The Steelers are getting older. They just hit menopause and they’re all emotional and whatnot. It’s not the blocking that’s making them cry, its the hormones.

  19. mrklutch says: Sep 16, 2011 3:10 PM

    Steelers got manhandled in every aspect of that game. It tastes better each time I see that douche “jealousof6″ or whatever post things irrevelant to the article.

  20. kevo126 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:10 PM

    “The Steeler Nation’s dominance in this league is unmatched (6).”

    @mustbejealousof6, i pretty sure the packers have more championships…

  21. jimbobobjr says: Sep 16, 2011 3:10 PM

    mustbejealousof6 is obviously a Ravens fan just trying to be stupid. He’s really good at it.

  22. humbleminded85 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:12 PM

    *maybe the guy who has…

  23. dhudge says: Sep 16, 2011 3:15 PM

    WOW!…mustbejealousof6 (seriously) needs therapy!

  24. savannahrose44 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:15 PM

    Steelers say the Ravens play dirty…isn’t that a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?

  25. fancyleague says: Sep 16, 2011 3:16 PM

    So he’s saying, “Let us win the battle, or you’ll get hurt.”

    And Ngata’s knee goes snap, crackle, pop!

  26. ravensfan4life52 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:17 PM

    @mustbejealousof6

    except for the Packers who have 13 championships. I guess schools in Pittsburgh don’t teach math any more.

  27. sonvar says: Sep 16, 2011 3:18 PM

    If you’re going to argue about him saying the play isn’t dangerous then you shouldn’t watch the sport MDS. Any given play it’s possible a player gets injured even by routine stuff like just running down the field. Bottom line, the Raven’s OLine did nothing wrong and the Steelers’ need to man up and deal with it. Because I guarantee they were doing the same blocking the past few years but yet the Steelers were able to deal with it.

  28. kungfoomoe says: Sep 16, 2011 3:19 PM

    this michael david smith sure does seem to have an axe to grind with the ravens…

  29. rdrdrs58 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:20 PM

    LOL. this is funny. Steeler Nation sings a completely different tune when Hines Ward is called out for questionable plays….

  30. Southpaw says: Sep 16, 2011 3:24 PM

    I will repeat exactly what I said in the other article, because it just rang true:

    “This is what I don’t like about this wave of articles…

    It makes it seem like the Ravens just became the first team to start doing this, this past week… when really, it’s only being brought to the public’s attention because the Steelers cried about the rules not being strict enough to protect their plays (HYPOCRISY).

    Give it a rest. These have been the rules for a long time, and I REALLY REALLY doubt that it was JUST exploited for the first time last week.”

  31. ravenut06 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:25 PM

    How is it this defense has been used for years but the time the Steelers get blown out by there rivals and can not admit they just sucked it up, makes the defense so wrong and horrible.

    If the Steelers are such a classy team why dont they just come out and say hey we got beat without there being a ‘but’ after that statement.

  32. steelerfan999 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:26 PM

    CANT WAIT TILL NOVEMBER 6TH

  33. ravensnation3478 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:29 PM

    This is absolutely ridiculous! These “men”, this “vaunted” Steelers defense is a bunch of PU$$IES, plain and simple. They were punched in the mouth and beaten down and now they are butt-hurt about it. Boo friggin hoo!! To show you how sissified these punks are, go to youtube and search for Mendenhall’s game winning TD and watch how the whole right side of their line used “cut blocks”!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgg8yxfXPPQ And fat pig Casey Hampton wants to come out and cry like a little girl about it happening to his fat A$$!!. Not one Raven said anything when it happened to them! Man up Casey or please go start the SFL…the Sissy Football League!!

  34. browntown57 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:31 PM

    I think all of the concerns over injuries are just too much now. I completely agree with the crackdown on blows to the head, especially to defenseless receivers. Concussions are bad, and can have long lasting effects down the road. They will always exist in this game, however everything that can be done to avoid them should be done.

    With that said, football is a violent sport and injuries are going to happen. These stories of teams complaining just take away from the sport. When you play in the NFL, you can get hurt. Period. If you’re afraid of getting hurt during a game, go do something else.

  35. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 16, 2011 3:33 PM

    The Stealers have jumped the shark –

    Hey Stealer fans get ready to be in a very sad and not funny sequel to Hot Tub Time Machine.

  36. 3octaveFart says: Sep 16, 2011 3:33 PM

    yeah, he made another self-serving comment last year before playing the Steelers where he claimed they “play right and by the rules…” right before two of his guys got flagged and fined for illegal hits…

  37. yzguy431 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:35 PM

    i must have been asleep for 20 years, what has happened to football? it should have no element of danger, and no one ever should get hurt?

  38. mustbejealousof6 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:40 PM

    I’m not joking. We’re leaving.

  39. stealersfannot says: Sep 16, 2011 3:41 PM

    Oh c’mon Harbaugh!

    Dont gratify their belly aching with a response!

    The rest of the country is already laughing at their BS.

  40. psuravens19 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:42 PM

    It’s Friday… why are we still talking about last weeks game?

  41. letemplay says: Sep 16, 2011 3:43 PM

    Everyone needs to understand that this goes both ways. I saw plenty of steelers using this blocking technique and it worked really well!

    Once on a hand off from Ben to Suggs.

    Once on a hand off from Ben to Ngata.

    And twice on passes from Ben to Reed!

  42. stairwayto7 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:48 PM

    Just wait until the STeelers do it..15 yard penalty! Please take out Flacco’s knees and then the murderer Ray Lewis and make sure he gets put into retirement!

  43. michbengal says: Sep 16, 2011 3:49 PM

    @ mustbejealousof6

    So what you’re saying is the Steelers are going to go off and play with themselves?

    Seriously. The six rings thing from all you Steelers fans is getting old. Old as your team. Looks like you’re going to have to live on the memory of those six games because it looks like your best football is behind you.

    Also, the irony that the Steelers are complaining about chop blocks and dirty play is, well, ironic.

  44. j98me2 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:50 PM

    Steelers must be getting old. Doing all that whining.

    How about you use that energy to fix a long list of things that caused you to get beat so badly. Instead of trying distract everybody with your pointless whining about they cheated.

  45. bunkmcnulty says: Sep 16, 2011 3:52 PM

    Whether it is Casey Hampton replying to a reporter’s question, or now John Harbaugh responding to a reporter’s question, does anyone else see how this crap get stirred up?

    I really wish Harbauugh didn’t even address this. But if he says no comment it looks worse than the answer. No win.

    The media = stirring the pot.

  46. Steeler's Will says: Sep 16, 2011 3:52 PM

    jimbobobjr says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:10 PM
    mustbejealousof6 is obviously a Ravens fan just trying to be stupid. He’s really good at it.

    ——————–
    To call him a Raven fan is insulting to other Raven fans. Pretty sure he’s the same person posting as “6ringsofsteal”, who was outed earlier as none other than…”sadskinsfan89″ in the thread about Polamalu getting fined. Unlike many posters here, I won’t lump him in with the rest of the Skins fans here.

  47. supashug says: Sep 16, 2011 3:54 PM

    I love watching people say that Ngata will get cut block. I guess you can hit him in the backfield while he is laying on top of Mendenhall with the ball, but that will definitely draw a flag

  48. Steeler's Will says: Sep 16, 2011 3:54 PM

    stealersfannot says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:41 PM
    Oh c’mon Harbaugh!

    Dont gratify their belly aching with a response!

    The rest of the country is already laughing at their BS.

    —————–
    Harbaugh’s predictable like that. Like when he gets angry he puts on his “Harbaugh Face” and yells at the line judge.

  49. letemplay says: Sep 16, 2011 3:57 PM

    stairwayto7 says: Sep 16, 2011 3:48 PM

    Just wait until the STeelers do it..15 yard penalty! Please take out Flacco’s knees and then the murderer Ray Lewis and make sure he gets put into retirement!

    ——————————————————

    It’s a blocking play that the steelers D linemen were complaining about. Joe wouldn’t even be on the field the at the same time as the steelers O linemen to “chop block” him. Shhhhhh take your meds son, the grown ups are trying to talk here.

  50. daysend564 says: Sep 16, 2011 4:01 PM

    steelerfan999 says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:26 PM
    CANT WAIT TILL NOVEMBER 6TH
    ——————————————–
    God, I hope my fantasy team isn’t playing against the Ravens defense that week too!

  51. feldman9000 says: Sep 16, 2011 4:06 PM

    @mustbejealousof6

    Hey I hear the UFL needs some teams. Maybe you can a couple of wins over there? I hear Omaha is nice this time of year.

  52. feldman9000 says: Sep 16, 2011 4:08 PM

    Hey what’s gonna be your excuse for the seachickens? They used glue to catch balls? Grow up.

  53. ktcmoving says: Sep 16, 2011 4:16 PM

    As much as it pains me to agree with Steelers fans, cutting at the knees FROM BEHIND is not legal. It doesn’t matter who was touching who, or where they first started or whatever.

    Cutting someone in the knees from behind is illegal. A two second glance at some of the end zone footage will clarify that.

  54. bravin4evr says: Sep 16, 2011 4:21 PM

    As a fan of football and especially the Ravens, I don’t like the idea of taking an engaged players legs out from under him! Wouldn’t want it done to any of mine!

  55. rayriceisnice says: Sep 16, 2011 4:23 PM

    Lol harbaugh is awesome. Dear Mike Tomlin, you are not in the military or a police officer, please stop talking like that.

  56. joeflaccosunibrow says: Sep 16, 2011 4:24 PM

    Can we stop talking about a game 5 days ago? They are sore losers and everytime we address their complaints, we stoop to their level. You lost the game get over it and move on! Apparently that lose hit the Steelers below the belt, and I love it!

    It’s like when the Yankees cry about how teams don’t reschedule games the way they want. Bunch of overpaid whiners.

  57. blue18hutthutt says: Sep 16, 2011 4:25 PM

    jdfrox says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:07 PM
    Oh yeah Jim? Well Merril Hoge says it is illegal and he is an impartial analyst, loyal to no team!!

    ——————

    I can’t tell if you’re trying to be tongue in cheek or if you really are as ignorant and stupid as you come off

    You realize Hoge was an ex-Steeler and retains many close ties to the organization right?

  58. jo3jo says: Sep 16, 2011 4:35 PM

    This is not a new play. This is a staple of every team, including the steelers. They used to be quite effective at it. Last week they were not effective in any aspect of the game. Multiple players played the worst games of their lives. The only explanation is that this is a team that needs the offseason work they missed more than most. And that’s fine, they will recover after beating up a few of the weaker teams. But this whining about dirty players has to stop when they lead the league in fines for illegal hits. Come on, be serious.

  59. mineallmine001 says: Sep 16, 2011 4:40 PM

    The squealers are a well aged “whine”. It appears they’ll get served for the next 11 weeks.

    Enjoy!

  60. herewegostillers says: Sep 16, 2011 4:41 PM

    i love how non-steelers fans keep referring to our ‘old’ super bowl titles. uh, we’ve won more in the past six years than any other team in the league. we’ve been to the super bowl three times in the past six seasons. translation for you math majors: that’s a super bowl appearance every other year. your “keep living in the past” comments are SOOOOO 1998.

  61. gmanwithe says: Sep 16, 2011 4:48 PM

    shaggytoodle says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:04 PM
    As someone on the outside looking in I NEVER though I would hear the Steelers wine, I guess they are getting older and softer.

    I tried that new Steelers wine, it is the best there is. A nice aged, soft wine. Nothing to whine about when you drink it.

  62. gmanwithe says: Sep 16, 2011 4:51 PM

    Harbaugh is the BIGGEST whining baby every time something doesn’t go his way.

    And now that his cry baby brother is in the league, the refs are going to have to bring raincoats for all of the whining, complaining, and crying that they both do! I am glad Johnny boy didn’t have a heart attack on national TV when he ran all over the field trying to get the ref’s attention last week.

  63. gmanwithe says: Sep 16, 2011 4:55 PM

    cmich2006 says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:05 PM
    Chop block meets Ngata’s knees…can’t wait

    And don’t forget the ugliest person in football today, Suggs! That would be sweet!

  64. cliverush says: Sep 16, 2011 4:56 PM

    The next time you two teams meet please let the refs know in advance just what you want called prior to the game. All this whinning by both teams after games is not going to change the score. You need to work the refs before the game. This will spare the rest of the fans from listening to your biannual catfight.

  65. frankrizzo51 says: Sep 16, 2011 5:15 PM

    Bears and Giants have more championships than the Steelers, too. GB 13, Chi 9, NY 7.

  66. cowboyhater says: Sep 16, 2011 5:16 PM

    Both teams are a bunch of cry babies whenever they play each other. If the Ravens lost, they would have found an excuse, and call foul about some occurrence during the game. How about this, The better team won, and that’s that. Stop whining and complaining.

  67. holeinone09 says: Sep 16, 2011 5:28 PM

    Steelers have more than enough bulletin board material and motivation for what should be a fabulous rematch later at Heinz Field. Then we will see who has the last laugh.

    I pity the Seahawks this Sunday.

  68. lawyermalloy says: Sep 16, 2011 5:30 PM

    Who Cares? When the league decides to make what the Ravens do ILLEGAL , get back to me!

  69. melikefootball says: Sep 16, 2011 5:33 PM

    As you read all these comments, seems the Ravens fans FINALLY have something to gloat about after how many key game loses to the Steelers.

  70. jsalis13 says: Sep 16, 2011 5:38 PM

    Jealous of 6 really needs to learn what dominance is. It means that you are so far ahead that no one else is even close to you. Superbowl count; Steelers 6, Cowboys 5, 49ers 5, Packers 4(and it looks better for them to get one in the near future than the Steelers), , Giants 3, Redskins 3, Raiders 3(many AFC championships lost in close games to Pitt), and Patriots 3. So leading by 1 SB over the next closest doesn’t really seem like domination to me.

  71. jsalis13 says: Sep 16, 2011 5:40 PM

    holeinone09

    Will bulletin board material turn back the clock on Aaron Smith, James Harrison, and Troy Palamolu’s careers?

  72. tenteamparlay00799 says: Sep 16, 2011 6:11 PM

    The Steelers are 200% Over-Rated.

  73. jrfrom508 says: Sep 16, 2011 6:15 PM

    at mustbejealous6 –

    you are a sad, sad confused man. you suck so badly at life I can’t even begin to say. oh ya and your QB likes to rape women. that’s cool.

  74. holeinone09 says: Sep 16, 2011 6:23 PM

    jslais13, nothing turns back the time clock. But like I said, the last laugh still has to be had. Steelers lost to the Ravens, fair and square. There will be another day, later on when it matters more.

    I guess Harbaugh wasn’t whining with his comment either. “My team does legal blocking”. No team should give another team bulletin board material.

  75. iamthefootballjerk says: Sep 16, 2011 7:47 PM

    To most Steeler fans. I respect you and your football team. You are as good as any other fan in the league.

    For the much smaller percentage of Steeler fans that post on this site. You are a toothless Cro-magdon and it is now 2011. We all know that your team has won six titles, and it was not this year. The Ravens took out some frustration last Sunday for themselves, and the fans needed it too.

    See you in week nine.

  76. agent6burgh says: Sep 16, 2011 9:25 PM

    Harbaugh and the Ravens will always always be bitter about choking and losing to the Steelers in the playoffs. The Ravens beat Pittsburgh last week, BUT why Why WHY could they NOT do that in the playoff game earlier this year ? They CHOKED, THAT’S WHY !
    The Ravens shot their wad last Sunday, most of their opponents will figure out the cheap “legal” little tricks they play and will shut down Joe Flacco and Ray Rice who’s probably going to absorb a concussion this season.

  77. jeepin08 says: Sep 16, 2011 10:34 PM

    steelerfan999 says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:26 PM
    “CANT WAIT TILL NOVEMBER 6TH”

    Yea, me neither. The Ravens will have the broom out for the sweep of the series. That old rundown defense will be even older. And how many turnovers do you think they will have this time ?
    I think the Ravens set a team record with stairway to 7. Not too late for 8.

  78. makosalad says: Sep 17, 2011 1:22 AM

    3octaveFart says:
    Sep 16, 2011 3:33 PM
    yeah, he made another self-serving comment last year before playing the Steelers where he claimed they “play right and by the rules…” right before two of his guys got flagged and fined for illegal hits…

    —————————————

    Right! I remember that being televised right before the game. He said it with just a trace of arrogance (on the heels of Harrison’s highly publicized idescretions). Proves an important point that even head coaches are fallible. Once again, ‘eat crow’ Harbaugh.

  79. tommytd says: Sep 17, 2011 11:46 AM

    Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black! LOL

  80. bostonbias says: Sep 17, 2011 7:12 PM

    Let’s just hope the Titians use some this week. :-) Then see who is crying…if one of the others players that Baltimore falls down to worship like Lewis or Reed gets a blown knee…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!