On Monday, Redskins’ corner back Josh Wilson was asked about the fan bases of his current team and his former team, the Baltimore Ravens. He said that given the Redskins’ years of tradition, there was no comparison.
On Tuesday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he understood Wilson’s reasoning, but stood by his previously stated goal of taking over Washington’s fan base.
“Well, the Redskins have been around for what ... 70 or 80 years? That’s the difference. We’ve been around since 1996. We won’t take offense to [Wilson’s comments],” Harbaugh told reporters in Baltimore, via Kevin Van Valkenburg of the Baltimore Sun.
Asked again about his intention to take over the region, Harbaugh said, “I just think it’s a unique situation we have really in this whole corridor. I mean, how many football teams do you have in this corridor? We’re kind of in the middle. The Redskins, you’ve got Carolina down south a bit, you’ve got Pittsburgh, you’ve got Philadelphia, then you’ve got the New York teams. And we’re right in the middle of that whole deal. So we’ve got to, I think over the course of time, as we grow as a franchise, keep growing our fanbase into this whole Mid-Atlantic, Northeast region. That’s not really my area, but I’m told there are a lot of young people that really like the Ravens in this area. We want to build on that. We could take all the help we can get. We want as many fans as we can get.”
The Ravens are aiming for their fourth straight playoff appearance, while the Redskins haven’t had a winning season since 2007. Because of Baltimore’s success, Harbaugh believes that the Ravens already are making progress.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to compete against them on the field Thursday night. That’s what we’re going to do. All the other stuff is fun. I think it’s fun for the fans. I hope the fans have fun. There is a guy name Grady who coaches my daughter’s softball team. Shout out to Grady. He’ll get a big kick out of this. He’s a Redskins fan. Well, I think, finally, after three years of coaching Alison, my daughter, we may have swayed him a little bit to the Ravens. But that shows you how tough it is.”