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Harbaugh brothers could envision working together

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Harbaugh brothers could envision working together

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Working separately, John and Jim Harbaugh each guided their team to the Super Bowl. They will be on opposite sidelines Sunday, John as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Jim with the San Francisco 49ers.

Imagine how effective they could be if working together.

At their joint news conference Friday, someone asked the brothers if they would consider teaming up if either should be forced out of his current post.

``No question about it,'' John said. ``We've had that conversation in the past. It just never really worked out timing-wise. I'd love to work for Jim. It would be the greatest thing in the world.''

Jim, coach of the San Francisco 49ers, said, ``Definitely, I would work for him.''

Super Bowl tradition dictates that the coaches meet with the media separately two days before the Super Bowl. That custom was altered Friday because, after all, two brothers have never before coached against each other in the Super Bowl.

Wearing a dark suit, white shirt, striped tie and laced business shoes, John settled into a director's chair behind a Ravens helmet. Jim, wearing a 49ers hat, a sweat shirt, khaki pants and running shoes, sat in an identical chair behind a San Francisco helmet.

Calling it ``an exciting moment,'' John ticked off the names of family members in attendance, including his parents. They posed for pictures with grandfather Joe Cipiti on the stage afterward, too.

Jack Harbaugh, their father, was a successful college coach. His sons followed in his footsteps, but on different paths. There was one time, however, when the routes nearly merged.

``We almost made it happen at Stanford at one time,'' John said. ``It would be an honor to have him on the staff. He's a great coach. You always try to get great coaches, and there are none better than Jim Harbaugh, and I mean that seriously. There's no better coach in the National Football League than this guy right here.''

To which Jim added, ``Well, Jack Harbaugh.''

The family coaching tree could run even deeper one day. Jim's son, Jay, works for John as a coaching intern with the Ravens.

``He's far better than we've anticipated, and I knew he would be great at what he does,'' John said.

The brothers obviously had a lot of fun with the situation, joking with each other and sometimes acting like a comedy team.

Someone asked them to list their commonalities and philosophical differences.

``I would be hard-pressed to spell philosophical right now,'' Jim said.

``I know he can't spell commonalities,'' John said, not missing a beat.

Although Jack Harbaugh has received much of the credit for molding the boys into coaches, the brothers revealed that their mother, Jackie, also had a great deal of influence on their growth into men.

``There is no one in the family who has more competitive fire than my mother. She competes like a maniac. She has just always believed in us, and I think that is the most important thing to me. She believed in me, John, and Joanie, and took us to games and played catch with us, shot baskets with us, and just believed in us.''

``No one would fight harder for us than our mom, no matter what the situation was, or teach us how to have each other's back and be there for one another,'' John said. ``We may have been talking football with dad in the basement, but mom was talking about other things. There were a lot of things going on in our world during the `70s, and Mom was always tuned in on those kinds of things.''

Someone asked the brothers whether they considered how they will handle the postgame handshake. Jim Harbaugh enraged Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz for giving him a quick handshake and a hard backslap after a 2011 game, but that certainly won't be an issue Sunday night.

``I've given absolutely no consideration to the postgame hand shake or bear hug or anything else,'' John said. ``I haven't thought about that for one second. Have you, Jim?''

``I have not,'' Jim confirmed.

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Depth at running back in draft reduces need for Ravens to trade up

Depth at running back in draft reduces need for Ravens to trade up

Should the Ravens trade up from No. 16 to get an impact running back in the draft?  Not according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper.

The Ravens’ need for more playmakers is obvious, and coach John Harbaugh says the offense could use another back to complement Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West.

In his first mock draft, Kiper had Leonard Fournette of LSU (No. 8, Panthers) and Dalvin Cook of Florida St. (No. 12, Browns) as the first two backs off the board, with the Ravens taking Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers with the 16th pick.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Kiper says the Ravens can get a quality back in the first three rounds, with this year’s draft deep at the position.

“I don’t know that trading up for a running back the grade of Fournette will be high enough to say he’s in that (Ezekiel) Elliott stratosphere,” Kiper said during a recent conference call.

“You have a lot of depth at running back too, with (Christian) McCaffrey, D’Onta Foreman from Texas, and there’s a lot of other backs in this draft that I really like, and of course the Ravens got Kenneth Dixon in the fourth round last year which was a heck of a pick for them. Matthew Dayes from N. C. State, you have Jamaal Williams at BYU, De’Angelo Henderson at Coastal Carolina is an interesting kid. I don’t think there will be a team looking to trade up for the running back this year.”

West led the Ravens with 774 yards rushing in 2016, with Dixon adding 302 yards. However, every other team in the AFC North had a back with more yards than West. Le’Veon Bell (1,268 yards) led the Steelers, Isaiah Crowell (952 yards) led the Browns, and Jeremy Hill (839 yards) led the Bengals.

While the Ravens have other pressing needs like cornerback, wide receiver, and pass rusher, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take a running back early.

MORE RAVENS: Ravens' game in London has official date

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League has official date for Ravens' game in London

League has official date for Ravens' game in London

On Friday morning, the league announced the official date of the Ravens-Jaguars game in London.

The Ravens get a Week 3 matchup at Wembley Stadium against the Jaguars.

The Ravens could have had a Week 3 or 4 date against the Jaguars, but the time of the kickoff remains a mystery until a later date.

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