OWINGS MILLS — Let bygones be bygones.
That’s the message Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio delivered to the Ravens this week.
Fangio started a mini-controversy with the Ravens when he was the head coach in Denver in 2021. A video surfaced of the Broncos’ sideline reaction to the Ravens running the ball on the last play of the game with a 23-7 lead.
The Denver coaches and players had assumed the Ravens were going to take a knee and run out the clock.
However, quarterback Lamar Jackson scrambled for a 5-yard run. The scamper allowed the Ravens to run for 100 or more yards in 43 consecutive games, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974 to 1977) for the longest streak in NFL history.
Fangio can be heard cursing at the play, and he later expressed his dismay to the media.
“Yeah, I thought it was kind of [garbage], but I expected it from them,” Fangio said at the time. “Thirty-seven years in pro ball and I’ve never seen anything like that. But it was to be expected, and we expected it. I just know how they operate. That’s just their mode of operation there. Player safety is secondary.”
Fangio has since softened his stance. He did not want that to be a distraction when the Dolphins play the Ravens this week at M&T Bank Stadium.
“I mean, what happened there was they ran a play at the end of the game instead of taking a knee to get an extra 4 or 5 yards rushing,” Fangio told the media this week. “And our players were all upset about it. And the way the timing worked on Mondays after our games, I would meet with the media before any player would, then I’d have a team meeting. So, I took the hit. I said something publicly, I told the players that so they would let it go to bed and they never said anything. So, it was one that just finished the story without our players getting involved.
“I could care less if they run another play.”
At the time, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was taken aback by Fangio’s response and had a rebuttal.
Harbaugh considered Fangio to be a friend.
“I thought we were on good terms,” Harbaugh said. “We had a nice chat before the game. [We’ve] known each other for a long time. But I promise you, I’m not going to give that insult one second thought. What’s meaningful to us might not be meaningful to them. Their concerns are definitely not our concerns. … We didn’t expect to get the ball back, but I had already decided … We decided that if we got the ball back, we were going to try to get the yards.”
Harbaugh and Fangio will face each other Sunday for the first time since the 2021 incident.