June 6, 2018 / 9:53 PM / 11 days ago

NFL docks Ravens' final two OTAs over infraction

The NFL has fined Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti, along with canceling the team’s final two days of OTAs, for an undisclosed infraction on Wednesday.

Dec 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore Ravens defeated Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

Harbaugh must pay $50,000 and Bisciotti owes $100,000, the league ruled.

While the violation was not revealed, the Ravens released a statement shortly after the decision.

“We are vigilant about practicing within the Collective Bargaining Rules,” general manager Ozzie Newsome wrote. “I am. John (Harbaugh) and his assistants are. I attend every practice and then watch the practices again on video. I see how the coaching staff teaches, corrects and addresses issues immediately on the field. In meetings, I have watched John’s presentation to his players and assistants regarding how to properly practice and the pace of these sessions. We have players competing, including rookies and those fighting to make our team. Sometimes, breaking old practice habits of these players, especially rookies, takes more repetitions. We’ll continue to be vigilant about this.”

Harbaugh also released a statement, inferring that the penalty was over contact made during passing drills.

“We take very seriously reading. understanding, abiding by and playing by the rules,” Harbaugh’s statement began. “Our coaches, staff and players have worked extremely hard to run the offseason program according to all the Collective Bargaining Agreement rules. Our team has been singled out for pass coverage contact during the early part of OTAs. We have heavily emphasized these CBA pass coverage rules in meetings, and coached them diligently on the practice field. It has also been our priority to include our veteran players, along with new Ravens who have practiced and played for other teams, in the process and use their input and ideas. Even with consistent and repeated teaching, these rules pose considerable adjustments for the young players. We have tried very hard to eliminate contact in pass coverage during OTAs, even so far as to pull players out of practice who struggle with these adjustments. I am confident we have done everything within our power and ability to practice within the rules, and we will continue to focus on preparing, teaching and practicing the right way.”

The Ravens and Harbaugh were fined approximately half a million total for a similar infraction in 2016.

While they’ll lose scheduled practices on Thursday and Friday, mandatory minicamp begins for the Ravens next week.

—Field Level Media

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