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John Harbaugh Says New England Run Is “Stained”…Then Backpedals

May 2, 2012

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told a Baltimore radio station that New England’s run, featuring three Super Bowl titles, is tainted and “stained” due to 2007’s Spygate debacle.

While doing an interview on 98 Rock in Baltimore, Harbaugh spoke candidly about cheating in the NFL and in particular, noted that New England’s tremendous success over the last 11 years is “stained.”

Harbaugh, who may carry a reasonable grudge from January’s AFC title game loss to the Patriots, denounced dirty play and cheating around the league.

When questioned about the difference between finding a competitive edge and cheating, Harbaugh noted that when a team violates the rules (i.e. New England and New Orleans), the truth will be exposed in the end.

“The funny thing about that is, is that in the end, everything is brought before the light of day when it’s all said and done,” said Harbaugh.

Since his comments, Harbaugh is in retreat mode. According to the Boston Globe, he released a statement following his comments on Tuesday that appeared to be something resembling an apology:

“My reference was to the perception out there that came as a result of the league’s actions,’’ the statement said. “I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints.

“I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill and Sean [Payton, New Orleans coach] both know that. There has been some distortion about what I said.’’

Even though Harbaugh called Bill Belichick and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi to explain himself, I’m not quite sure this will be forgotten from New England’s behalf.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted that Harbaugh’s shot at the Patriots was interesting considering that Belichick helped Harbaugh land the head coaching job with Baltimore.

That Week 3 handshake between Belichick and Harbaugh should be awfully frosty from BB’s side.

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