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Ravens' Harbaugh heaps high praise on Pats' Belichick

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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Linebacker Terrell Suggs' point-blank disdain for Tom Brady and the "good-looking" Patriots is the stuff of sound-bite legend, but eliciting fiery talk from Ravens coach John Harbaugh isn't so simple.

In the lead-up to Sunday's AFC Championship Game in New England, Harbaugh's genuine admiration for Patriots coach Bill Belichick beamed through Monday.

"I just respect Bill Belichick as a coach and man, I really do," Harbaugh told reporters. "He's the greatest coach in our league right now, and that's proven. That's why you get so excited to play against him as a coach."

John's younger brother, Jim, the 49ers' (somewhat intense) first-year coach, ruffled some contemporaries' feathers this season -- namely Detroit's Jim Schwartz on a well-documented handshake diss in Week 5 -- but Belichick remains in good graces with the Harbaugh clan.

"He's always treated me well over the years," John said. "He's always been at the top of the profession, and when a guy like that treats you well, you appreciate that."

It remains to be seen how the Harbaugh family would feel about the Patriots' coach if New England were to mow down the Ravens on Sunday, and -- if it shakes out -- the 49ers in the Super Bowl. But it would only strengthen John's argument about Belichick's place in NFL lore.

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