No coaching carousels for Patriots, Ravens
The Patriots have done that for a dozen years; Belichick is third with 18 postseason victories and would tie Shula for second with a win Sunday. He would tie Tom Landry for the top spot by also winning a fourth Super Bowl, which would equal Chuck Noll's four in the big game with the Steelers.
Quite a resume, which also includes three Super Bowls as an assistant. There's a wealth of knowledge there — even if Belichick is unwilling to share it with anyone not wearing Patriots colors.
"It has been good for me," said inside linebacker Jerod Mayo, the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year and one of New England's steadiest defenders for five seasons. "I've tried to be a sponge and learn as much as I can from coach Belichick. My first couple years, we had a lot of those individual meetings where he pulled me to the side and taught me, not necessarily the techniques of the game, but just situational awareness of the game and what the offense can do to you. I'm still learning."
If you stop learning in the NFL, you will be left behind. If you stop adapting, you won't contend for championships.
Harbaugh, a former special teams coach who reached the Super Bowl with the 2004 Eagles, has adjusted well throughout his tenure in Baltimore (12-6). When he joined the Ravens, they had a premier, shutdown defense. Recently, they've become more dependent on their offense.
Regardless, Harbaugh approaches the job in the same way: tirelessly.
"We get after it in practices and games. We try to bring a physicality and toughness to everything we do," said veteran center Matt Birk. "We have a willingness to work hard, and we do, and that comes from coach Harbs."
Harbaugh is 6-3 in the playoffs, including a 33-14 victory at Gillette Stadium three years ago. He's lost in both trips to the AFC title game, including 23-20 to New England last January.
Should he help the Ravens get to their first Super Bowl since the 2000 season, he just might meet his younger brother, Jim, in the Big Easy. Jim Harbaugh's 49ers are playing at Atlanta for the NFC championship.
"I haven't taken a DNA sample lately," John Harbaugh said, "but it's a pretty cool thing."
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