Football fans might remember Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh taking issue to an offensive formation that the New England Patriots used against them in their AFC divisional match up January 10, which the Pats went on to win before clinching Super Bowl XLIX.
However, while Harbaugh admits that a Ravens team consultant reached out to the Indianapolis Colts, who faced the Patriots in the AFC title game the following week, he adamantly denies it was to tip them off about the Pats deflating footballs.
New England's now-infamous Deflategate scandal sparked after the AFC title game and led to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being suspended for four games and his appeal being denied, plus the franchise having to pay a $1 million fine and forfeiting its 2016 first-round draft pick and 2017 fourth-round selection.
That being said, Harbaugh denies any involvement with tipping off the Colts.
"Any conversation that was had with the Colts had nothing to do with deflated footballs, which is what we've been saying since the very start," Harbaugh told ESPN on Wednesday. "I know that we've answered the questions from the beginning to the end very simply. Our yes is yes. Our no is no. We've answered questions directly and honestly and straightforward from the start."
"We're not running from any of it," Harbaugh continued about any possible questioning. "I'm not going to stand up here and say we're not talking about it. We've been honest from the beginning, so whatever you got, I'm more than happy to answer it."
He added: "It seems like somebody is trying to distract from the real issue here, which is deflated footballs, I guess, and take the attention off somebody else. But I don't know who is doing what and I really couldn't care less about the whole thing. But if you look at what's even said in the email, the email is very clear cut. The guy got it wrong."
Ravens special-teams coach Jerry Rosburg denied talking to Colts coach Chuck Pagano about the footballs, saying that he only spoke to Pagano about a play that the Patriots used against the Ravens in their divisional game.
"If somebody wants to pick a fight with us, pick it," Harbaugh said. "Bring it on. Our yes is yes, our no is no. If we screwed up, we say we messed up and we take responsibility for it. That's how we do it around here. I love being a Raven, I love what we stand for. I'll stand with these guys all day long."
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(Photos from left: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images, Al Bello/Getty Images)
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