John Harbaugh needs a fall guy for Terrell Suggs

Conor Orr, NFL:
Buoyed by the NFL's clearance of Terrell Suggs' below-the-hip shot on Sam Bradford Saturday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh came out in defense of his maligned pass rusher.

"When you start popping off about somebody's character, you cross the line," Harbaugh said Monday, via "That's not really something that we would respect. But most of their guys over there understood the play and understood (Suggs) was playing hard and trying to get stops."

Terrell Suggs was penalized for the first quarter hit on the defenseless Philadelphia Eagles' QB Sam Bradford. On Monday morning, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that a flag should not have been thrown. "If the quarterback has an option, he's considered a runner until he either clearly doesn't have the football or he re-establishes himself as a passer," Blandino said. "So it's not a foul by rule." Suggs was unblocked on the play, and immediately dove toward Bradford's surgically repaired left knee.

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times:
there's one public event where the University of Southern California football coach needs to be at his most professional and inspirational, it is the annual preseason Trojans family banquet known as "Salute to Troy."

Steve Sarkisian knew this, yet there he was Saturday night, apparently intoxicated, slurring his words, uttering an expletive and acting so unsteady that he left the stage before his remarks were complete.

On Sunday, an apology was issued by Sarkisian, and a public scolding was given by Athletic Director Pat Haden.

Four years ago, then-USC basketball coach Kevin O'Neill was involved in an alcohol-related confrontation with an Arizona booster at the Pac-12 Conference tournament. Haden immediately suspended him for that tournament. The suspension lasted only one game, but Haden was quick to send a strong message.

At Monday's football practice, head football coach Steve Sarkisian was forced to do some pushups for the team as punishment for Saturday's drunken behavior in front of his own boosters. Pat Haden's punishment isn't even as harsh as the Ray Rice two game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last summer.

On May 5, 1995, Gary Moeller resigned as University of Michigan head football coach Thursday after a drunken incident at a suburban Detroit restaurant. Moeller's actions tarnished the university's image. The university acted swiftly in moving on. Moeller had been the hand picked replacement for legendary head coach, Bo Schembechler.

“Every coach, every executive, every leader: They all know right from wrong. Even those Enron guys. When someone uncovers a scandal in their company, I don't think they can say, "I didn't know that was going on." They're just saying they're too dumb to do their job! And if they really are too dumb, then why are they getting paid millions of dollars to do it? They know what's going on.” - Bo Schembechler

John Harbaugh ought to worry less about what the Philadelphia Eagles think of that low blow to QB Sam Bradford's knees. And more about how Terrell Suggs can affect the career of his own franchise QB, Joe Flacco.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

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