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John Harbaugh: Handshake with Mike Tomlin was a non-issue

John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin Getty Images

A year after his brother engaged in a confrontational postgame handshake in Detroit, Ravens coach John Harbaugh says there was nothing confrontational at all about his postgame handshake with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday.

Many viewers thought the Harbaugh-Tomlin handshake appeared to include some tense words being exchanged, and was perhaps reminiscent of last season’s confrontation between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz. But John Harbaugh said today that he was surprised to hear people thought he and Tomlin had an issue, because he said there was nothing unusual about it.

Nothing uncomfortable at all,” John Harbaugh said Monday. “I thought Mike did a terrific job preparing his team. Obviously, they played very well, and I made a point to congratulate him on that. Hopefully he accepted that. It was all good.”

Harbaugh seemed surprised by a reporter’s question about dramatic encounters between coaches after games.

“I really don’t know about the handshake agendas,” Harbaugh said. “I felt fine about it. It was fine. I just wanted to make sure he knew that we congratulated him and that was it.”

And that’s that, until the next Tomlin-Harbaugh handshake. Which may take place in January, in a rematch in the playoffs.

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40 Responses to “John Harbaugh: Handshake with Mike Tomlin was a non-issue”
  1. gdeli says: Dec 3, 2012 6:06 PM

    What is the deal with the harbaugh’s and hand shakes? ha Have a good week people!

  2. Cereal says: Dec 3, 2012 6:06 PM

    Tomlin is clearly to cool for school

  3. Stiller43 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:07 PM

    There definitely appeared to be something more, but neither coach will tell.

  4. kash71 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:09 PM

    I read Harbaugh’s lips.

    “I missed you on House”

  5. grogansheroes says: Dec 3, 2012 6:13 PM

    Now if Bill Belichick did this…. There would be two hundred stories about his poor sportsmanship

  6. phinfan says: Dec 3, 2012 6:15 PM

    The handshake problems must go back to their childhood – maybe daddy harbaugh must of smacked their heads after his shake

  7. ravenmuscle says: Dec 3, 2012 6:16 PM

    Everyone knows Mike Tomlin is a wimp and was simply trying to get off the field as quickly as possible before Harbaugh beat the living snot out of Tomlin.

  8. billyrocket says: Dec 3, 2012 6:24 PM

    No doubt it goes back to Harbaugh’s fake extra point last year when they were winning by 30 pts.

  9. mydadyourmom says: Dec 3, 2012 6:29 PM

    Haha you lost to Chaz Batch!!!

  10. mancave001 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:36 PM

    I watched the clip and felt it was a non-issue. Tomlin could have been a little nicer, but I saw nothing “tense” about the entire thing.

  11. justafutballfan says: Dec 3, 2012 6:38 PM

    I think Harbaugh was telling Tomlin that he has the stronger team. Kind of like the comment he made in Pittsburgh after that game.

  12. Steeley McBeam says: Dec 3, 2012 6:45 PM

    I seriously doubt Bmore wants to see the Steelers in the playoffs the way were chomping at the bit for game 3 with the Ravens.

    As for the handshake, maybe it had something to do with the gatorade baths, waving terrible towels, faking extra points when up 20, crying about the music played when showing Joe Flaccos face on the scoreboard, Suggs t-shirts and everything the Harbaughs represent.

  13. timmons94 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:47 PM

    Ravens luck running out. Could see them losing next 4. Flacco played bad both steelers games. Cameron refuses to give the ball to rice. Ravens secondary is plain bad due to injury . Redskins game is huge. I think they win but won’t be easy

  14. ravenator says: Dec 3, 2012 6:48 PM

    Tomlin was upset at winning the game and still being in 2nd place in the division.

  15. artambriz says: Dec 3, 2012 6:50 PM

    Not a Raven or Steeler fan,but it seemed to me Tomlin was not to happy with the i wouldn’t call Ngata cheap shot but it was penalty worthy(in this NFL NOW A DAYS)but the last one don’t remember who was too much,they really need to do that to a third string q.b.My take.

  16. psteelfan1 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:57 PM

    The only way the Steelers ever beat the Ravens is with help from the refs, just ask boldin or reed. That being said I do respect the Ravens organization, but why always try to blame the refs?

  17. sc5000 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:57 PM

    the ravens have relied on nothing but luck all year and it finally wore off. Gonna be a rough end to the season for them

  18. jeffa43 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:02 PM

    Tomlin said … Your LBs take cheep shots at qb’s heads every game..

    That is a direct reflection on you whinebaugh!

    Ps… Palms down is calm and in control, often as you see Tomlin.
    Palms up is a complainer, confused, and unsure of his path… As you often see whinebaugh.

  19. djaehne says: Dec 3, 2012 7:04 PM

    Ravens are a class organization. Steelers are the classiest organization on the planet.

  20. reed20fence says: Dec 3, 2012 7:12 PM

    Harbs is right, the handshake isn’t the issue.

    The retention of Cam Cameron is the issue. And for reasons that escape all logic, that issue is taboo to discuss with Harbs.

    Someone needs to tell him – the season doesn’t end when you squeeze into the playoffs. Winning the Super Bowl is how history judges success.

  21. timmons94 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:15 PM

    Ravens are worst 9-3 team Ever. Going nowhere as always

  22. bigblaw says: Dec 3, 2012 7:16 PM

    Tomlin Knew what we all Know …ravens are lucky to be above. 500…

  23. menentj says: Dec 3, 2012 8:03 PM

    I think Tomlin acted like a punk.

    Harbaugh was a very decent loser and Tomlin was an arrogant punk.

    I am a fan for neither of these teams but I wish the Steelers would have lost now.

  24. steelersownyou says: Dec 3, 2012 8:14 PM

    Harbaugh is just like the entire ravens organization and their fans. Rub it in your face when they win and sore losers. Can’t wait to crush these crybabies in the playoffs…Again!!!!

  25. steelernator says: Dec 3, 2012 8:25 PM

    Anytime the Harbawl brothers lose, on the same day yet, it is a glorious day indeed.

  26. putyournameonit says: Dec 3, 2012 8:27 PM

    Harbaugh is not respected y his players, so why should opposing coaches respect him.

  27. steelernator says: Dec 3, 2012 8:28 PM

    Ravens are highly over-rated, likely to lose last 4 games after being humiliated at home by their biggest rival led by a 38 year old third team QB. Glad Ravens have to rely on Flacco, he is a loser.

    THUD

  28. groess says: Dec 3, 2012 8:35 PM

    Hopefully we (Steelers) see them again in the play-offs. We know how that always turns out.

  29. Canyonero says: Dec 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    Great tight game, as always between those two.

    Maybe Tomlin & Harbaugh don’t like each other, but for rivalry there was nothing like Cowher-Billick. Those guys hated each other, taunted the fans, gloated like brats. It was awesome..

  30. johnnyblumpkin says: Dec 3, 2012 10:06 PM

    Ha ha! Steelers fans calling Ravens fans classless. Now thats funny! Don’t yinz look in the mirror.

  31. steelcity4ever says: Dec 3, 2012 10:52 PM

    I think Harbaugh was trying to blow Tomlin because he knows what a superior team and coach the Steelers have and he’s hoping we go easy on them when we get Ben back. Haha suck it Baltimore, you’re the worst 9-3 team this league has ever seen, even the Browns beat us with Batch hahaha.

  32. live43style says: Dec 4, 2012 2:02 AM

    Life long Steeler fan here. The Steelers need to win 8 games in a row. If they do that, then maybe the defense, coach and QB will get the respect they deserve. Even more so if they go through New England and/or Denver. Not really handshake related but I prefer to talk football.

  33. troysmithsghost says: Dec 4, 2012 6:24 AM

    It’s funny ’cause Harbaugh finally wanted to show a little class and humility, and Tomlin knew he’d end up punching that whiny, sad-face little nerd right in the chops if he had to look at him for more than a few seconds. Tomlin 1, Harbaugh 0!

  34. CKL says: Dec 4, 2012 8:22 AM

    There’s definitely something there. Normally when you see one HC blow off another, it’s because they lost. Tomlin’s squad won, and he blew Harbaugh off. I’ve never seen Tomlin do that before. He was mad about something. And I bet Harbaugh knows what it is too.

  35. captainrick2285 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:28 AM

    Is it true that ed reed’s position is being renamed “center field” Charlie got him a few times for good size gains. His interception was just waiting on a bad throw not stealing the ball from the receiver. My question is why aren’t they giving the ball to the boy from Rutgers? He is their offense.

  36. originalsteelcurtain says: Dec 4, 2012 10:38 AM

    What do you expect when two guys that don’t like each other are “expected” to meet at midfield for a traditional handshake?

    These guys aren’t professional actors!

  37. bigblacksteel says: Dec 4, 2012 11:22 AM

    Everyone knows that the Pitt. Men of Steel. are the team to beat when Big Ben comes back. So cry me a Phukin’ river ravens fans. you all suk and that’s about it. by the way Tomlin would kick the snot out of cupcake harbaugh. lololololololol ravens lose to Skins. then lose to Gmen..it is done……

  38. pizzon says: Dec 4, 2012 5:53 PM

    any true fan of this rivalry understands that there is no love loss here. Harbaugh is an arrogant jerk who annually does his dissappearing act in the playoffs. his whole agenda is to win his division. he might want to rethink his goals which should be to win Lombardi’s and not just win the division. I think he aspires to be like the great organization that is the Pittsburgh Steelers which wont happen not in my lifetime.

  39. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 4, 2012 8:54 PM

    It appeared Tomlin attempted a “drive by ” shake but Harbaugh wasn’t having it. Strange thing is it seems the loser would try the dive by but Tomlin’s team won. It was awkward.

  40. lucasbabe1978 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:24 PM

    Tomlin thought it would be an unfair fight because he had his Super Bowl ring on and harbaugh didn’t, should’ve imprinted his face with it

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