Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has had a busy few days.
On Monday, the team announced that he signed a contract extension, and the Ravens also were awarded four additional compensatory picks in the 2014 NFL draft, bringing their total to eight.
Harbaugh sat down to talk Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., and he covered a variety of topics.
Ray Rice, the embattled running back who was seen on video dragging his unconscious fianceé out of an Atlantic City hotel, remains in good standing with the team even though Harbaugh admonished Rice's actions.
"He will be part of our team," Harbaugh said. "He's a person of character. The thing that's really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action. He makes a mistake. There's no justifying what happened. When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen."
Harbaugh then turned to Rice, the football player, and said he hopes to have his back return for the start of the season at around 207 pounds — down 10 pounds from where Rice played a season ago.
In other news, Harbaugh:
• Expressed disappointment about the AFC powers getting stronger.
• Painted a clearer picture of the Ravens' offensive line following the trade for Jeremy Zuttah. Harbaugh said Zuttah will be the starting center, replacing Gino Gradkowski. Kelechi Osemele is expected to remain at left tackle. That means — for now — that Rick Wagner and Jah Reid will be the Ravens' top two options at right tackle. Translation: A rookie could come in and win that spot.
• Hoped that Brandon Williams and Kapron Lewis-Moore could help replace departed Arthur Jones at defensive tackle. Again, there's a good chance a rookie could factor in here.
• Also hoped that the team could get something done in terms of long-term deals with wide receiver Torrey Smith and cornerback Jimmy Smith.
• Supported the idea of linebacker Rolando McClain returning to playing football, although Harbaugh said the team has not spoken to him about this recently.
• Indicated that the seventh-round pick the Ravens acquired from the Miami Dolphins for Bryant McKinnie was in 2015, not in this coming draft, as had previously been reported.
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