<
>

Highlights from John Harbaugh's season-ending news conference

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was loose and insightful during his 31-minute season-ending news conference on Tuesday.

The blog will touch on all of these topics more in depth over the next couple of weeks. Here are the top 10 highlights from Harbaugh's media session:

1. Harbaugh is planning on Gary Kubiak returning as offensive coordinator, although he didn't rule out the possibility of Kubiak leaving. "I'm planning on Gary being back," Harbaugh said Tuesday. "If that changes, we'll deal with it if it comes up. I don't anticipate that changing at this time."

2. Wide receiver Steve Smith expressed to Harbaugh a desire to come back. But, as a suggestion from general manager Ozzie Newsome, Smith is going to take three weeks to decide how he feels. "Steve was brimming with enthusiasm the last time I talked to him to come back and play a role, whatever role that might be," Harbaugh said. "It doesn't have to be a role where he is playing every snap. He still looks like he has plenty left in the tank to me."

3. The Ravens remain committed to left tackle Eugene Monroe even though he didn't start the AFC divisional playoff game. He wasn't at 100 percent because of an ankle injury. "Eugene is our starter going forward," Harbaugh said. "We're happy to have that be the case."

4. Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who suffered a season-ending foot injury on Oct. 26, is expected to start running in four weeks. "He'll get a chance to get a full offseason in," Harbaugh said.

5. Tight end Dennis Pitta is seeing a couple of specialists about his hip injury. "I will say I'm cautiously optimistic because of the injury," Harbaugh said. "We want to make sure he's totally healthy and totally safe, as much as is reasonable in football to make sure the hip is sound."

6. Harbaugh was asked whether the team would like to get an extension done with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. "I think everybody knows the answer to that," Harbaugh said. Ngata carries the team's biggest salary-cap hit in 2015 at $16 million.

7. Harbaugh said he emphasized behavior before the players cleaned out their lockers after enduring an offseason in which five players were arrested. "I think the threshold of tolerance has changed without question," Harbaugh said. "I told the guys that. That's something they need to understand. I don't think that's a bad thing at all. It's a privilege to play in the National Football League. It's a privilege to be a part of the Ravens."

8. Secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo has been granted permission to interview for the New York Giants' defensive coordinator job. It's scheduled to take place Wednesday. "I don't know what's going to happen with that," Harbaugh said. "That's something that he deserves an opportunity to look at."

9. Harbaugh was complimentary of safety Will Hill and how he ran the secondary. "We're challenging him for the next three to four months," Harbaugh said. "Are you going to come back a better player than you were when you left here in January? Is that slate going to be clean? We fully expect it to be. He just had a baby. He's doing great with his family. We're going to try to help him in any way we can with that."

10. The Ravens will hold their personnel meeting Wednesday and then form their offseason plan after the Pro Bowl when the top team officials meet at owner Steve Bisciotti's place in Florida. Harbaugh did say he would like free agents Torrey Smith and Justin Forsett to be re-signed. He also indicated that you can't count out Forsett for the lead running back role in 2015. "He proved that," Harbaugh said.