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Harbaughs are a couple of blue-collar coaches

Jim gets credit for a shirt idea, but he gives credit back to brother John.

November 23, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh isn't one to take credit for his younger brother's ideas.
Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh isn't one to take credit for… (Patrick Smith / Getty Images )

Four years ago, when John was a first-year head coach for Baltimore — fresh off his job as Philadelphia's defensive backs coach — he wanted to do something to remind Ravens players they were a blue-collar crew.

Then, it hit him: He had a blue, short-sleeve, button-down shirt made for each player, the kind mechanics wear, with the player's first name on a patch over the breast pocket. So Flacco had "Joe," and Lewis had "Ray."

His brother, then Stanford's coach, loved the idea.

"Jim says, 'That's the greatest idea ever!' " John said with a laugh. "So he gives it to his team, and two weeks later I read about it in the paper: 'Jim Harbaugh's got this brilliant idea!' "

Conceded Jim: "That's true. The idea was all John Harbaugh."

Brothers forever, though, there's one shirt each would gladly give the other.

The one right off his back.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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