John Harbaugh closing in on Bill Cowher

November, 29, 2012
11/29/12
11:00
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The Ravens can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Steelers. It would be appropriate for coach John Harbaugh to do this against Pittsburgh.

Harbaugh would become the first coach to reach the playoffs in each of his first five seasons as head coach since former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Cowher reached the playoffs in his first six seasons with the Steelers (1992-97).

Harbaugh has made his players aware that they can secure a postseason spot by beating their division rival.

"We’re not about hiding something," said Harbaugh, who is already the first head coach to win a playoff game in each of his first four seasons. "The guys know what the situation is and the standings and those kinds of things. We understand that. But, it really doesn’t have much bearing on the game itself and the preparation. The preparation does not change. That doesn’t factor into how we prepare. It’s just the reality of it.”

Harbaugh and Atlanta's Mike Smith are tied for the best winning percentage (.707) among head coaches who began their career since 1970 (minimum 70 games). Harbaugh's record is 53-22.

Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin ranks third on that list with a .670 winning percentage. His record is 61-30.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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