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Ravens PR boss “pissed” at report team didn’t want Reed

Byrne_Kevin

Ed Reed’s a Texan now, largely because they offered to pay him more than the Ravens were willing to.

But his departure is still the subject of much discussion in Baltimore, and it’s getting a little testy.

We noted earlier in the week that columnist Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun said Ravens coach John Harbaugh “wanted Reed back as much as he wants a root canal.”

Now, the Ravens PR chief, while admitting you can’t win a war with someone who buys ink buy the barrel, has waded headlong into one.

In an article on the Ravens official website, senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne admits that he’s “pissed,” about the characterization that Harbaugh didn’t want the veteran safety back. His main point is that Preston characterized an opinion of his own as a fact stemming from the organization, a suggestion Byrne clearly disagrees with.

“You know what, Ed Reed deserves better,” Byrne wrote. “So does John Harbaugh. The line was inconsiderate, offensive and not the truth.

“I know this, if Harbs had read a line from the Houston Post that said: ‘Reed wanted to play for John Harbaugh as much as he wants a root canal,’ John would be hurt – and surprised. He would likely assume that Ed said that to some reporter. He would question if his friendship with Ed was a sham and that maybe he had been conned by the safety.”

Byrne’s reputation in the business is of being fair and even-handed, so the tone of his response is as surprising as the content.

And for a guy who counsels players and coaches not to get into firefights with reporters, he just napalmed the local columnist, which should make for an interesting relationship going forward with someone he has to work with regularly.

Photo credit: BaltimoreRavens.com

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42 Responses to “Ravens PR boss “pissed” at report team didn’t want Reed”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 6, 2013 1:25 PM

    Whoa! You don’t want to be around when Kev gets pissed.

  2. varavens410 says: Apr 6, 2013 1:30 PM

    why do you always get Jim and John mixed up?

  3. ahostiletakeover says: Apr 6, 2013 1:41 PM

    Not sure why anyone takes anything Mike Preston says seriously, much less Mr. Byrne. Byrne’s weekly column on the Ravens’ site is more objective on a regular basis than Preston the actual journalist’s is. Preston is the Skip Bayless of the Baltimore Sun. Plenty of other columnists for their site have moved on to bigger and better things while Preston has been throwing his weight around the Sun for forever, what does that tell you about other job opportunities for this professional troll?

  4. matthewmiz says: Apr 6, 2013 1:43 PM

    Looks like Preston got Byrned.

  5. braven4evr says: Apr 6, 2013 1:44 PM

    Mike Preston has absolutely no credibility… he put the “j” in jerk!

  6. melikefootball says: Apr 6, 2013 1:51 PM

    Sounds like some back tracking to say a job, HIS.

  7. ravensrooster94 says: Apr 6, 2013 1:52 PM

    Gantt, welcome to the world according to Mike Preston. I can assure you that Kevin Byrne has more credibility with the Ravens fan base, the media, and the NFL that Preston the troll will ever hope to have.

    Preston has been doing this for years….. Writing personal commentary and passing it off like it came from the club.

    Too bad this guy didn’t go to Indy with the Colts. He would have been missed ad much as Bob Irsay.

  8. dangernearing says: Apr 6, 2013 1:53 PM

    If they wanted him he’d be there. So obvious they didnt want him. And thats okay, they choose to move on. But I dont see why anyone should take someone’s word, who bytheway works in the “PR” dept. Its a business and they lie just like the rest.

  9. dangernearing says: Apr 6, 2013 1:57 PM

    braven4evr says: Apr 6, 2013 1:44 PM

    Mike Preston has absolutely no credibility… he put the “j” in jerk!
    >>>
    Real creative there

  10. azblackbird says: Apr 6, 2013 1:57 PM

    Mike Preston is the least informed and most incompetent reporter on the paper. It is a sad fact that after “All the President’s Men” was released, reporters ceased research and morphed into “investigative reporters” which is to say, lazy.

  11. anicra says: Apr 6, 2013 2:02 PM

    Jim Harbaugh “wanted Reed back as much as he wants a root canal.”

    Hey, maybe it was taken out context. I had cavity that became a god awful tooth pain and getting a root canal was a god sent.

  12. lennydpocketqb says: Apr 6, 2013 2:12 PM

    The Bengals are going to blow past the Steelers and Ravens this year.

  13. deucedeuce13 says: Apr 6, 2013 2:14 PM

    Preston is a troll, but this time it’s actually truth, take a look at the moves that have been made and more importantly when, since harbaugh has become coach. Things don’t add up

  14. wrenches2pipes says: Apr 6, 2013 2:16 PM

    The P.R. guy for the ravens just earned his paycheck for the week.

  15. theylovetohateus88 says: Apr 6, 2013 2:18 PM

    Mike Preston is the biggest joke of a “reporter or “sports columnist” or whatever he calls himself that I’ve ever seen. Any respectable Baltimore fan knows this, it’s mind blowing that he still has a job in Baltimore, clown!

  16. threatlevelbob says: Apr 6, 2013 2:20 PM

    Preston is a hack who gains some credibility by being on the Baltimore Sun payroll.

    He should have been fired ages ago but people listen to Preston for the same reasons they listen to Bayless.

    Now, when I figure out why people watch Bayless I’ll let you know.

  17. andylucksneck says: Apr 6, 2013 2:26 PM

    Who cares? It’s the ravens. They won’t win 7 games this year.

  18. getyourownname says: Apr 6, 2013 2:27 PM

    Last sentence of this article shows how little the writer understands Baltimore media. Preston makes up or embellishes precisely because people don’t care to work with him. Same thing happened with him and former coach Billick. Preston has had poor relations with Ravens for a long time, and not just Byrne.

    To his credit, he isn’t a media cheerleader like some other AFCN city newspaper writers. But that doesn’t excuse his personal, and frequently opinion-based, crusades.

  19. mmmpierogi says: Apr 6, 2013 2:34 PM

    Thank god my nickname isn’t “Harbs.”

  20. rockthered1286 says: Apr 6, 2013 2:40 PM

    Glad somebody finally put Preston in his place. He’s a bonafide hack who lives for nothing more than stirring the pot. After all its only way anybody will ever put his name out there. Surely not for his actual reporting or commentary. I applaud Byrne for speaking out instead of just keeping it locked up and continuing to let this poor excuse for a reporter continue to slander the name of Reed, Harbs and the entire Ravens organization on a daily basis. Here’s a hint Presto: if your buddy in the bar tells you he heard something, that doesn’t count as a reliable source.

  21. ravenator says: Apr 6, 2013 2:45 PM

    Preston is the biggest hack reporter, scratch that, blogger. He does injustice to the real reporters out there.

  22. granadafan says: Apr 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    He’s a PR agent. His job is to lie and be a spin doctor. Whenever, there’s a negative story, the PR agents will paint their client in the most glorious light. The truth is somewhere in the middle, likely towards the original story. Take what PR agents say with the very very light grain of salt. Think the PR agents and handlers for Manti Te’o and all the fools who fell for their spin stories.

  23. gonavybeatarmy says: Apr 6, 2013 3:11 PM

    Kevin Byrne: minister of disinformation, Baghdad Bob.

  24. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 6, 2013 3:17 PM

    I bet Preston is related to ravenator. Same classy, brainy way of going about things. Could be his brother……

  25. footballgod87 says: Apr 6, 2013 3:17 PM

    Is it just me, or does it seem like every time somebody calls out a columnist for something that may or may not be true, the person that did the calling out is made to look wrong by Pft?

  26. scoobies05 says: Apr 6, 2013 3:36 PM

    andyluck is right. ravens will win 11 and go to the playoffs for the 6th straight year

  27. wbhou says: Apr 6, 2013 3:37 PM

    just wanted to point out that the houston post reference in the article was a little outdated.. houston post printed their final issue in 1995.. go texans.

  28. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Apr 6, 2013 3:53 PM

    Somebody sure fell in love with the use of the term “napalm.” Wonder where and how that got started.

  29. tsuscrumhalf says: Apr 6, 2013 4:04 PM

    Whoever said that Preston is the Skip Bayless of Baltimore is doing a grave injustice to Skip Bayless……… Preston is a tool. His job is to stir the pot & be very anti-Ravens, to generate controversy and to get noticed. Well done, Preston!

    Sadly, the Baltimore Sun has gotten rid of most real journalists and has had to stoop to the “let’s stir the pot” type story generation. A once proud newspaper is nothing but a joke. Mike Preston fits in very well………

  30. ravenator says: Apr 6, 2013 4:05 PM

    Steeler fans are jealous. They have to keep an aging, declining talent, missed tackles machine in Polamalu

  31. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 6, 2013 4:18 PM

    ravenator says:
    Apr 6, 2013 4:05 PM
    Steeler fans are jealous. They have to keep an aging, declining talent, missed tackles machine in Polamalu

    1 0 What does polamalu have to do with Preston other than they both begin with P? I guess you really are related to that hack Preston as I suggested. Inserting unrelated items in article seems to e both of your strengths….

  32. 52crabcakes says: Apr 6, 2013 4:30 PM

    I can’t stand Preston for the most part, but he is right on this time. Kevin is doing company stuff that he is supposed to do.

    deucedeuce13 – I am with you something does not add up.

    Mr. Harbaugh is not the only reason Reed and Pollard and many more are gone, but I feel a main reason.

  33. ravenator says: Apr 6, 2013 4:46 PM

    Steeler fans are still feeling the ill effects of missing the playoffs entirely while their last sniff was a loss to Tim Tebow. How irrelevant your silly little franchise has become. I can’t tell the difference now between the Pirates and Steelers. Cheers!

  34. sbaltimore says: Apr 6, 2013 5:23 PM

    1. Preston is a hack. (But even blind squirrels manage to find nuts once in a while.)
    2. Byrne is a PR man doing damage control.
    3. If the Ravens REALLY wanted Ed Reed back, Ed Reed would have been back.

  35. Deb says: Apr 6, 2013 5:33 PM

    Byrne is right. From what I’ve read, Mike Preston is the antiRaven. Chuck Noll didn’t get along well with Terry Bradshaw, but no one needed to know that at the time. Reed means a lot to Ravens fans, and Harbaugh is their Super Bowl-winning coach. In today’s game it’s common for teams to lose players to retirement and free agency after winning a championship. I can’t see any purpose in Preston’s “exposé” other than trying to take some of the post-Super Bowl glow away from the fans. With a hometown columnist like that, who needs enemies?

  36. CKL says: Apr 6, 2013 7:54 PM

    Preston might be the only topic I’ve ever seen the whole Ravens fanbase (at least their representatives here) agree upon. I think that’s all I need to know about the guy.

  37. reed20fence says: Apr 6, 2013 8:07 PM

    PFT, you can’t control what other press outlets or their reporters do. But you can control how you all choose to selectively quote, spin and otherwise present it.

    Byrne also referenced the fact that you guys in particular ran with the story as fact.

    Frankly any time I see a headline from you all that starts off by “Report:..” I know that the allegations in the post itself will most likely be bogus hoakum.

    That can’t bode well for you all in the long run, and I feel that many of you guys quietly feel that this practice is inherently unethical.

  38. nathpz says: Apr 6, 2013 8:30 PM

    ““I know this, if Harbs had read a line from the Houston Post that said: ‘Reed wanted to play for John Harbaugh as much as he wants a root canal,’ John would be hurt – and surprised. ”

    I’d be surprised, too, since the paper folded in 1995.

  39. rocketcrab says: Apr 6, 2013 8:40 PM

    We said it when this so-called “story” surfaced – Mike Preston is a hack. I referenced this particular story when you asked for feedback when you asked if the “comments” feature should be discontinued – and you deleted my post. Do you want to be a place where NFL NEWS can be shared, or NFL gossip?

  40. pinion8ted says: Apr 6, 2013 9:01 PM

    One question Mr. Byrne …….

    If the Ravens wanted him back, why isn’t he THERE???

  41. sizroch says: Apr 6, 2013 10:37 PM

    A 2nd rate newspaper represented by a 3rd rate reporter.

  42. watermelon1 says: Apr 7, 2013 3:10 PM

    Sorry but I’m not going to believe someone who works for the team. There was speculation that Harbs has beef with the veteran leaders well before this reporter said anything.

    Where there’s smoke… there’s fire.

    And it’s already been documented that harbaugh would rather be stubborn and have his way than put the best players on the field.

    He refused to play Bryant McKinnie and the team struggled all season. Finally due to injury, his hand was forced and wouldn’t you know it… McKinnie goes in and suddenly the offense looks much better.

    I bet after benching tandon doss and Laquan Williams the last couple years, they surprise a lot of people this year now that harbaugh is pretty much forced to play then with boldin gone.

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