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John Harbaugh lauds Bill Belichick as greatest coach

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Amid speculation that the Ravens tipped off the Colts as to the Patriots' alleged deflated-ball practices, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh paid homage to New England legend Bill Belichick on Friday.

Harbaugh told NFL Media's Omar Ruiz at the Pro Bowl that he "thinks the world" of Belichick, who is the best coach of this century.

"He's been a great mentor, a great friend. I have the utmost respect for him," Harbaugh said. "Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of our generation, without question. I don't think anybody would doubt that. Nothing is going to change that.

"He's the toughest guy we have to go against every single year game plan-wise and trying to beat his team. They have a great team, they're where they deserve to be, they're where they belong and I just consider him my friend."

Harbaugh's praise is similar to that he lavished upon Belichick in the lead-up to the AFC Championship Game three years ago.

The two coaches have been in the news lately because Harbaugh publicly complained about Belichick's "deceptive" substitutions with a four-man offensive line in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

This is a friendship with strong roots, though. Belichick called Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to recommend Harbaugh for the head-coaching job seven years ago.

Would Harbaugh put that relationship in jeopardy? It certainly doesn't sound like it.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the Patriots' deflated footballs controversy and tells you whom to trust in Super Bowl XLIX. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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