The Baltimore Ravens are sticking to their guns.
Among the 4,000-plus pages of documents recently made public in Tom Brady’s federal court case, a particular email exchange stood out: An Indianapolis Colts equipment manager revealed Baltimore Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg called Colts head coach Chuck Pagano to alert him about issues they had with footballs in their AFC Divisional Round loss to the New England Patriots.
That’s pretty clear evidence that the Ravens at least in some fashion tipped off the Colts to be on the lookout for football issues. In a statement issued Wednesday, though, Baltimore steadfastly denied that deflated footballs were ever discussed.
“Prior to the AFC Championship game, no one from the Ravens talked to the Colts about deflated footballs,” the team said in a statement. “We knew nothing of deflated footballs. “(Head coach) John Harbaugh has been consistent in his answers to reporters about this since he was first asked on NBC-TV at the Super Bowl.”
Harbaugh consistently has denied that anyone in Baltimore talked to the Colts about issues with deflated footballs. In the face of emails suggesting the opposite, Harbaugh also maintained his team’s innocence Wednesday.
“I’ve been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “I’ll say it again — we didn’t. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.
“As a former special teams coach, I know that members of the kicking group from teams talk to their counterparts all the time about conditions, including field, weather and footballs. I learned this morning that our kicking consultant (Randy Brown) sent a text to Coach Pagano on Jan. 16 suggesting to the Colts that they pay attention to how the officials rotate the kicking balls into the game. Coach Brown’s text did not mention the Patriots and did not complain about anything the Patriots did. The Colts never responded to Randy’s text, and he had no further communications with the Colts on this matter.”
The Ravens — who also had Rosburg release a statement — apparently want to make it very clear that while they did discuss a football issue with the Colts, that football issue wasn’t deflation.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images