Report: John Harbaugh didn’t want Jimmy Smith

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Howard Eskin of WIP radio in Philadelphia, who patrols the sidelines (often in a mink coat) as part of the team’s radio broadcasts, knows Ravens head coach John Harbaugh from the time he spent as an assistant coach with the Eagles.  And Eskin recently said in an interview with 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore that Harbaugh didn’t want to use his current team’s first-round draft pick on former Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith.

“You know those background checks they do?” Eskin told Ken Weinman and Vinny Cerrato, via  “Man, it didn’t come up pretty. . . .

“I don’t think [Harbaugh] really wanted him, that’s why there was all that confusion at that pick.”

The confusion came from an effort by the Ravens to trade down a few spots with the Bears, to the point at which the clock expired and the Chiefs were able to take receiver Jon Baldwin before the Ravens could select Smith.  It’s widely believed that the Ravens were hoping to take Smith at a lower spot; maybe the conventional wisdom isn’t all that wise after all.

Eskin said that he had not discussed the situation directly with Harbaugh, but it sounds as if Eskin has communicated with someone on the topic, possibly a certain head coach whose name rhymes with Dandy Feed.

“Smith had problems — he was struggling with the character issues, he really was,” Eskin said.  “And once the Eagles got past their place in the draft, I think there was communication between John and the Eagles people to try to find out a little about this guy because they know that the Eagles did look at him and I think he had some real reservations with that.”

We’ve got a pipeline to Eskin, who used to hate us but has found a way to tolerate us, so we’ll find out if he has anything more to add to this one.

As to the Ravens, we assume that strong denials will be forthcoming.  After all, now that they’ve picked Smith they’ve got to try to make it work, regardless of whether Harbaugh had misgivings on draft day.

UPDATE:  Peter King of writes in response via Twitter that the notion Harbaugh didn’t want Smith is “[t]otally wrong.”  Says King, “Jimmy Smith spent 2 hrs w/Harbaugh, alone, before the draft, and told people internally after the meeting he really liked the kid.”

30 responses to “Report: John Harbaugh didn’t want Jimmy Smith

  1. “I don’t think [Harbaugh] really wanted him, that’s why there was all that confusion at that pick.”

    His quote does not say that “Harbaugh didn’t want Jimmy Smith” as your headline suggests. It says he “thinks” that Harbaugh didn’t want him. This is journalism malpractice at its finest.

  2. What you mean to say is John Harbaugh didn’t want to take him in the first round and if they could get him lower they would. Right?

  3. Howard Eskin is a no talent ass clown.. With all the inside access he has, he never comes out with any pertinent information.
    This man is so foolish and self absorbed that most of what he puts out is basically oppinions supported by hearsay..

    & yeah, he does rock fur coats all the time.,, whatta toolbag.

    john harbough is no ones bitch. he runs balt. if he didnt want Smith, he wouldn’t have taken smith. & I would trade Andy for Harbaugh any day of the week. That guy knows how to put a team together.

  4. They did try to trade down, but they did pick Jimmy Smith at 27 when the deal fell through so they did not, not want him that much.

    If he was gone at 29, they would have picked someone else, but if they picked him at 27, they obviously would have picked him at 29.

  5. if you listened to the actual interview rather than reading the misleading and half ass article you would have heard eskin say multiple times that he THOUGHT harbaugh didnt want smith based solely on a hunch

  6. John Harbaugh wanted Cam Cameron to stay as offensive coordinator.

    As a Ravens fan, I totally don’t trust his judgment, period.

  7. More non news from PFT. “I don’t think [Harbaugh] really wanted him, that’s why there was all that confusion at that pick.” Yeah thinking is what gets this guy in trouble everyday.

    I dont blame Eskin, he can THINK all he wants. PFT reports this as a newstory based on one mans opinion.
    “but it SOUNDS as if Eskin has communicated with someone on the topic, POSSIBLy a certain head coach whose name rhymes with Dandy Feed.” There goes some more thinking.

    This lockout is really hurting the news right now.


  8. The same Eskin who….
    Was suspended for 30 days from WIP, had to give an on air apology for attacking Allen Iverson and his attorney Richard Sprague for a story that was complete lies….
    Once sent flowers to a woman he met in an AOL chat room, who was murdered by her husband a few days later…
    Made a fool of himself when he tried to act the bada$$ with his broadcast partner by saying something deragatory to Ike Reese, and Ike wouldn’t let him go to commercial, and dared him to say it again. Ike made the Burger King his queen that day….
    Eskin is nothing but an overated, self promoting, King of nothing. His ratings at WIP are down, and Mikey Miss is destroying him, and since he has his head so far up Reid’s posterior, he acts as if he knows all the inner workings of what the management does. I believe Reid, he of so few words, best described him….A Hemorroid….

  9. Sounds like a lot of speculation on both the part of Howard Eskin and PFT . . . Harbaugh didn’t want Smith so they took him (makes sense)

  10. What?! So some d-bag that thinks mink coats make him look cool, who doesn’t even work in Baltimore or report on the Ravens, and is working pretty much off a hunch with a connection that is 3-4 years old… says that the draft mishap took place because he thinks the Ravens did a last minute check-in with the Eagles after they passed on him? (As if they didn’t just take a couple months to study him)

    …even though the Bears, Ravens, and league all confirmed that the reason the mishap took place is because the Bears didn’t make the call and there was miscommunication… and even though the Ravens already said they already had the card ready for either spot

    There is literally ZERO credibility to any part of this story. Just some hot shot that thinks he’s a hot shot running his mouth. He doesn’t even reference anyone – he just keeps saying “I think…”

  11. Mr.Eskin is just jelly that the ravens got a shutdown corner while his team got a 27 year old lineman. His report is completely innaccurate. Watch the ravens warroom video when they made the pick. Harbaugh couldent have been happier. The holdup was the bears who gaffed on the trade. Harbaugh wanted smith all along

  12. So the Bears took the blame for the debacle to cover for the Ravens Head Coach being conflicted ?

    …And because the Eagles passed on him Ozzie was so interested in why the Eagles did so that he considered restacking the board based on John Harbaugh’s convo with Andy Reid?

    Yep, that happened ……sure.

  13. Directly from Peter King’s twitter-

    “That story about John Harbaugh not wanting Jimmy Smith? Wrong. Totally wrong.”

    Don’t believe it for a second. He greatly fills a glaring weakness on an otherwise great defense.

  14. Character issues are over-rated in terms of determining a player’s value. The guy can either play at a high level or he can’t.

    Assuming he can play at a high level you have maybe a 100-1 shot that his character issues will surface to the point that he isn’t worth the pick.

    Pacman Jones was the 1 in a hundred superstars that can’t keep it together. Virtually every Miami Hurricane ever drafted are the other 99.

    I’ll draft those guys every day of the week and twice on Sunday and win some Super Bowls while the GM who wants a squeaky clean player gets exactly what he’s drafting for.

  15. Who cares what Harbaugh wanted/wants anyway? He hasn’t proven nearly as much as many Ravens fans want to give him credit for…

    His clock management is horrible. His management of timeouts/challenges is equally as bad. For being a special teams guru… the special teams have not been that impressive, especially on coverage which is the main thing coaching should fix. The kickoffs were great, but that has absolutely nothing to do with coaching.

    Harbaugh inherited a talented team… and I’m not convinced that Harbaugh really had much to do with the Ravens making the playoffs the last 3 years.

    I think both Harbaugh and Flacco have a lot to prove this season. You can only blame “it” on the receivers, and officials, and offensive line for so long.

  16. My favorite Howard Eskin memory…

    He’s berating a caller…

    “You idiot, the Phillies will never sign Billy Wagner, so shut up about it. I know it for a fact. You’re a moron.”

    “Hold on, news coming in from the Phillies…”

    “The Philadelphia Phillies have just signed Billy Wagner.”

    Yeah Howard, you’re the man.

  17. LOL. At posting gossip and then having a real in the know guy shoot it right down. If Harbaugh didnt want Smith the Ravens wouldnt have drafted Smith. Harbaugh has made it clear that guys he doesnt like wont last long with the Ravens just ask Chris McCalister, Antwaan Barnes, Demetrius Williams, Darren Stone, soon Darnell Ellerbe and Jared Gaither.

  18. I can’t stand Eskin. He’s a total douche and I’ve never heard one good thing about him. I make a habit of not listening to Philly sports radio but, I can’t believe anyone would give him good information.

  19. ..
    I would personally like to thank everyone who ripped Eskin on here..

    Next up, another loud mouth no nothing. Angelo Cataldi… nothing but an ignorant whiner with no sports sense.

  20. Great journalism PFT! You guys are so classy and have so much integrity. You post a story that is COMPLETELY fabricated by some no-name who isn’t even stating what he believes to be facts, but rather his SPECULATION of what happened, only to be completely discredited minutes later by upstanding ACTUAL news sources. Not only Peter King, but you must have “missed” Rich Eisen’s twitter response to Peter King’s tweet, in which he said “I didn’t even ask (Harbaugh) about it, it was such a nonissue.” Oh, and you also must have missed Aaron Wilson’s (aka @RavensInsider) tweet that the story was ridiculous. You guys have absolutely no credibility and are an embarrassment. Not surprising that a site run by a Steelers fan would post lies about the Ravens. Absolutely pathetic, and you just lost a reader.

  21. He may not have wanted to pick him that high, but he wanted him and more than that. HE NEEDS HIM!

  22. As any loyal fan from the philly area knows , Howard Eskin is someone who is enjoyable to listen and talk to if you get your rocks off listening to someone call your only title team (phillies) losers and morons while NEVER second guessing any eagles moves and treating Reid as you would God ! Eskin rambles like a 8 yr old with the temperment of a 3 yr old . Trust me PFT , you are wayyyyy better off with drama queen Eskin hating you !!

  23. Eskin is the worst, he is just terrible. He gets plenty wrong, is rude on the air and when he interviews a woman you need a shower afterward to rinse the creepy off of you. Philly has two afternoon drive sports shows, and both of them suck. Ike Reese is the only salvagable part of it, he needs to get rid of the anchor (named Eskin) around his neck. I try to listen, I just can’t, I just switch back to music from 3 to 7. I wish he and Cataldi would just go away, they have nothing to offer.

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