Ravens' Harbaugh speaks at USF practice
This sets the bar high for guest speakers: Thursday was USF's first fall football practice in pads under Willie Taggart, who had a close friend speak to the Bulls: Ravens coach John Harbaugh, fresh off a Super Bowl championship and in town for a preseason game against the Bucs.
Harbaugh, wearing a USF ballcap and a gray Ravens T-shirt, spoke to the team about a half-hour into the morning workout. Taggart knows the Harbaugh family well -- 49ers coach Jim recruited him to play for his father Jack at Western Kentucky, and Taggart spent three years on Jim's staff at Stanford while working an NFL internship on John's staff.
So Harbaugh is only kidding so much when he referred to Taggart as his father's third son ("well, first son, really," he said) and talked to players about forging their identity this fall: "What do you want to be known for?" He said his Ravens teams always start with being rough and tough, reminding players they are barely older than the football program they'll represent this fall.
It's a sign of the strong connections Taggart has, and how they can help his players be a motivated group this fall. Jim's 49ers come to town to play the Bucs in mid-December, and Taggart will be in good shape if he can interrupt a practice for that guest speaker.