Harbaugh not fazed by defending title

Harbaugh not fazed by defending title
July 23, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Harbaugh: Ravens will 'become the best football team'

Having made the playoffs the past five seasons, coach John Harbaugh figures the Ravens know how to prepare to defend a championship.

There is a prevailing cliché that the Ravens will get every opponent’s “best shot” in 2013, as reigning Super Bowl champs. However, when was the last time the Ravens were considered a soft touch on anyone’s schedule? Being perennial contenders makes the Ravens, particularly core players like Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Haloti Ngata, and Terrell Suggs, more prepared for what lies ahead.

“I feel like we get everyone’s best shot for the last five years,” Harbaugh said Tuesday after rookies and quarterbacks practiced to open training camp. “I feel like people are always ready to play the Ravens. They understand what kind of game they’re gonna be in.”

Quarterback Joe Flacco believes the Ravens’ winning tradition will help set the tone.

“I think we got a good culture in our locker room,” Flacco said. “Everybody knows how to work. I think it’s gotten passed down from generation to generation. That definitely helps.”

Having made numerous offseason personnel changes, the Ravens will have a different cast, trying to reach the same destination. That’s one reason why training camp will be important, because the new personnel needs to gel quickly, particularly on defense.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that are hungry because they haven’t been there before, so we’ll just see how that mix plays out,” said Harbaugh. “I think we can be a very good football team. But we have to prove it.”