Baltimore Ravens deny they tipped off Colts


The Ravens have denied all along that they "tipped off" the Indianapolis Colts about deflated footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game.

Baltimore continued to bang that drum on Wednesday after documents released by the NFL Players Association on Tuesday included evidence that Ravens officials shared concerns with the Colts over the quality of the kicking balls in January's divisional round against New England.

The Ravens insist those conversations with the Colts never touched on the status of the inflation of game balls:

"Prior to the AFC Championship game, no one from the Ravens talked to the Colts about deflated footballs," the Ravens said Wednesday in a statement. "We knew nothing of deflated footballs. John Harbaugh has been consistent in his answers to reporters about this since he was first asked on NBC-TV at the Super Bowl."

Said Harbaugh: "I've been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs. I'll say it again -- we didn't. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.

"As a former special teams coach, I know that members of the kicking group from teams talk to their counterparts all the time about conditions, including field, weather and footballs," Harbaugh said. "I learned this morning that our kicking consultant (Randy Brown) sent a text to Coach Pagano on Jan. 16 suggesting to the Colts that they pay attention to how the officials rotate the kicking balls into the game. Coach Brown's text did not mention the Patriots and did not complain about anything the Patriots did. The Colts never responded to Randy's text, and he had no further communications with the Colts on this matter."

The Ravens also released Brown's text to coach Chuck Pagano from Jan. 16, which read: "Make sure the refs rotate the kicking balls cause last week they wouldn't let our ball in the game. Their ball was done so poorly that it was nearly impossible to kick off deep ... It was hard and not worked in well at all ... Let Tom (McMahon, Colts special teams coordinator) know he can call me at any time."

Baltimore also released a statement from Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, who said Pagano called him "on or about January 12, 2015" to inquire about "a punt-field goal substitution play that New England used against the Ravens in the Divisional game (Jan. 10)."

"At the 10:55 mark of the second quarter at the 34-yard line, New England sent its placekicker (Stephen Gostkowski) onto the field with the field goal unit," Rosburg said. "This caused us to defend the punt with our field goal block team. The play was blown dead by the officials because the Patriots were penalized for delay of game. Coach Pagano wanted to know about New England's substitution, because the coaching video does not show that part. There was no conversation regarding footballs."

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