John Harbaugh was a speaker at Hudl's Blitz '21 a few weeks ago. During a discussion on building team culture, Harbaugh told his story about the game where Lamar Jackson left during the fourth quarter to run to the locker room. As it happened, everyone thought Jackson had to go use the bathroom, but he has since maintained that he had cramps.
Of course, it didn't matter why Jackson was gone at the time for Baltimore. He just wasn't there. They had to work with the team that reamined, which meant Trace McSorley was the quarterback until he got injured on the play that set up Jackson's heroics. Here's Harbaugh's great retelling of what was going through his head at the two-minute warning.
First, Willie Snead sounds like a character. He played quarterback in high school a decade ago and still looked at Harbaugh and said, "Coach, this is my time to shine." In Snead's defense, he has thrown one pass in his NFL career and it was a 50 yard touchdown. So maybe it was his time to shine. We will never know.
Then there's Justin Tucker. Facing fourth down at the 44 a field goal should have been in the mix. While Harbaugh remembers it being longer, the attempt would have only been around 61 yards, which is well within Tucker's range. Still, for Harbaugh to question him and Tucker to reply that he had a better shot than Willie Snead was hilarious.
All around, just a fantastic story from Harbaugh and a reminder of just how much goes on during any particular moment in a football game. It's great to know that Harbaugh felt as helpless in that moment as he probably should have. Who knows what shape that story takes if Jackson hadn't come back in time to save the season.