Ravens’ Harbaugh Critical of Preseason Games

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh watched two of his players carried off the field during Saturday night’s preseason game, and said afterwards that he isn’t a fan of playing four exhibitions each year.

“I know the league and the Players Association is working very hard and trying to figure out ideas to work out the preseason,” Harbaugh said after the game. “These are big, fast, strong men running around out there. It’s not 25 years ago…It’s not the 70’s anymore. These guys playing in these games — it’s tough — and they’re not meaningful games.”

“They are important to get better,” Harbaugh admitted, “and they improve us. But we football coaches can find ways to get out guys ready and get our players evaluated without the kind of risk that a game necessarily entails.”

During the Ravens’ Saturday game against the Detroit Lions, Baltimore tight end Benjamin Watson tore his Achilles tendon and running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee sprain. Injuries in the preseason are nothing new — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fractured bone in his back in an exhibition game earlier this week.

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs seemed to agree with Harbaugh. Suggs told NFL.com that “truth be told, we need some of these games, just maybe not four; maybe three, maybe two.”

Harbaugh, though, said if he had his way, there would be no preseason games. “If I had my choice, I’d go none,” he said. “That might be an extreme point, but we could run scrimmages, or we could run practices against other teams and figure it out. We’d all be in the same boat.”

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