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John Harbaugh: 'We've been in that football cocoon'


In a week flush with off-the-field distractions, the Baltimore Ravens still had a game to play.

Coach John Harbaugh -- just days after facing the media to discuss the release of Ray Rice -- told reporters after Thursday night's convincing 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that his team turned inward to prepare for the task at hand.

"We were really isolated from all that," Harbaugh said. "As a football team, we go into our meeting rooms, our locker rooms, our offices and we go to work, especially on a short week like that. So we didn't have much to do with any of that. We were just working on football. We've been in that football cocoon and that carried us right into the game."

Thursday's win capped a tumultuous week that included the release of a video that shows Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday shortly after being released by the Ravens. Rice was previously suspended two games on July 24 for violating the league's personal conduct policy for the same incident.

"We care about our families, we care about the Rice family," Harbaugh said. "Our guys do, it's part of our family. We had a tough family situation this week and I thought our guys handled it tremendously well, with class, character and they responded."

After the victory, Ravens receiver Steve Smith was asked by Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports about what it took to stay focused.

"You know at the end of the day we're football players," Smith said, "and we're also men and people go through things and you gotta kind of compartmentalize everything and it's tough and the situations are tough but you gotta come to work, feed your family but at the same time, you gotta put things aside. We'll address those things when the time comes but also it's also not all on us, you know?"

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" recaps the Steelers-Ravens game and previews the other 15 games in Week 2.