A week in the life of a coach

John Harbaugh

THERE ARE 168 hours in a week. And if not for exhaustion, many NFL head coaches would use them all. But do all those hours come at a cost? That's a question Broncos coach John Fox and Texans coach Gary Kubiak have had to ask after health scares forced leaves of absence. Just how many hours are we talking? Baltimore coach John Harbaugh agreed to document his week as the Ravens prepped for a Nov. 17 game at Chicago. "There's always more you could do," he says. "But if you don't sleep, you can't function."

Monday

5:50 a.m. Wake up on office couch

6-8 Review opponent game tape

8-8:15 Call Ingrid (wife)

8:15-8:30 Breakfast with LS Morgan Cox, K Justin Tucker, P Sam Koch and QB Joe Flacco

8:30-8:45 Meet with team president Dick Cass

8:45-9:15 Meet with assistant GM Eric DeCosta

9:15-9:45 Prep for team meeting

9:45-10:15 Meet with senior offensive assistant Craig Ver Steeg

10:15-11:15 Review opponent game tape

11:15-11:45 Meet with player leadership committee

11:45-12:15 p.m. Lunch with Ingrid and Alison (10-year-old daughter)

12:15-1 Sit in on special-teams meeting

1:00-1:20 Team meeting

1:20-2:45 Sit in on offense and defense meetings

2:45-3:35 Meet with GM/Executive VP Ozzie Newsome

3:35-4 News conference prep with Kevin Byrne, senior VP of public and community relations

4-4:25 News conference, local TV interview, Ravens TV interview

4:30-5:30 Work out

5:30-5:45 Call from John Madden

5:45-6:20 Dinner with assistant coaches

6:20-6:30 Review last game's plays for submission to officials

6:40-6:50 Meet with head athletic trainer Mark Smith

7-11:15 Watch upcoming opponent tape

11:30 Sleep on office couch

"Sleeping at the office is about maximizing my time. I can get more done if I eliminate time I'd spend driving home. Plus, if I come home too late, chances are I'll wake up my wife."


Tuesday

6:30-8:45 a.m. Watch opponent tape

8:45-9 Breakfast

9-10 Watch opponent tape

10-11 Meet with QBs

11-11:30 Build team meeting agenda

11:30-12 p.m. Watch opponent tape with father, Jack Harbaugh

"Watching film with my dad is time we spend together doing something we're both passionate about. I'm already going to do it, and who wouldn't want to hang out with their dad? He takes notes too and will offer his opinion if I ask for it."

12-12:10 Meet with Smith

12:10-1:10 Work out

1:15-1:30 Lunch with DeCosta and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz

1:30-3 Watch opponent tape with Dad

3-3:15 Meet with assistant HC and special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg

3:15-3:40 Meet with Newsome

3:40-3:50 Call brother, Jim Harbaugh

3:50-6:15 Watch opponent tape

6:15-7:30 Coordinators meeting

7:30-8 Dinner with strength and conditioning coaches

8-11 Watch opponent tape

11 Sleep on office couch


Wednesday

5:30-5:45 a.m. Call Ingrid

"Ingrid and I try to have time every day to talk. Typically, Alison is a big subject. It's the best time of my day -- it's a chance to step away from everything and remember what's important."

6-6:45 Treadmill while reviewing route combo drawings, scripts and offensive game plan

7-7:15 Prep for team meeting with assistant Dan Parsons

7:15-7:40 Breakfast with Flacco, G Marshal Yanda and S James Ihedigbo; "fly-by" with training and equipment room staff

7:40-7:55 Meet with run game coordinator Juan Castillo about run scripts and pass protection

7:55-8:10 Bible study

8:10-9 Sit in on special-teams meeting

9-9:25 Team meeting (discuss game plan and what it will take to win)

9:30-11 Sit in on defense meeting

11-11:15 Call Ingrid

11:15-11:30 Meet with Byrne and Newsome

11:30-12:10 p.m. AACT (assignment, alignment, corrections and technique) walk-through with team

12:10-12:20 Media responsibility (local)

12:20-12:25 Media responsibility (opponent)

12:30-1:10 Lunch with Cass and Byrne

1:20-3:30 Practice

3:30-3:45 Meet with Newsome

3:45-5 Sit in on position and QB meetings

5-6:30 Meet with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti

"Steve has become one of my closest friends. We try to sit down and talk at least once a week, whether he wants to just shoot the breeze or teach me something. I really value our relationship; it's a bit like having a big brother."

6:30-7:30 Dinner with assistant coaches

7:30-7:45 Review highlight tape to be shown to team night before game

7:45-10:35 Watch opponent tape

10:35-11 Drive home


Thursday

5:35-6 a.m. Drive to work

6-7 Watch Wednesday's defense meeting and cut-ups

7-7:30 Breakfast with Yanda and C Gino Gradkowski

8:10-9 Sit in on special-teams meeting

9-9:15 Review NFL rules and league trends

9:20-10:15 Sit in on offense meeting

10:15-11 Watch opponent tape

11-11:25 Meet with Newsome

11:30-12 p.m. AACT walk-through with team

12-12:15 Local TV interview

12:20-12:35 Lunch with Rosburg and kicking consultant Randy Brown

12:40-12:50 Call Ingrid

1-1:20 Lift weights

"I exercise as much as I can. It's a time when I can relieve some stress and think. Also, I look around the league at what's going on with coaches [like Kubiak and Fox] and realize I'm not that far behind in age. I need to make sure I'm taking care of myself. In this job, you sometimes feel invincible, and that's just not reality."

1:20-3:30 Practice

3:30-3:50 Run sprints

4-5 Sit in on position and protection meetings, meet with players

5-6:15 Sit in on defense meeting

6:15-6:30 Dinner with athletic training staff

6:30-7:30 Watch opponent tape

7:30-7:40 Review second draft of highlight tape

7:40-8:30 Meet with Castillo, offensive line coach Andy Moeller and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell

8:30-9:35 Watch opponent tape

9:35-10 Drive home


Friday

5:20-5:45 a.m. Drive to work

5:45-6:30 Work out

6:45-7:15 Bible study

7:15-7:35 Breakfast with players

7:35-7:50 Call Ingrid and Alison

8:10-9 Special-teams meeting

9-10 Sit in on quarterbacks, protection and defensive red zone meetings

10-10:10 Meet with strength and conditioning coach Bob Rogucki

10:10-10:45 Meet with Newsome

10:50-11 Meet with a player

11:15-1 p.m. Practice

1-1:15 Meet with media

1:15-1:30 Lunch with CB Corey Graham, CB Lardarius Webb, CB Jimmy Smith and CB Chykie Brown

1:30-1:45 Meet with Byrne and director of security Darren Sanders in cafeteria

1:50-2:15 Administrative work

2:15-3:10 Watch opponent tape

3:10-3:20 Review the week's officials' video

3:20-3:30 Meet with trainer Smith

4-5:30 Coaches Subcommittee call

5:30-5:55 Drive home

6 Play basketball and read Diary of a Wimpy Kid with Alison; watch TV and have dinner with the family; call grandpa Joe Cipiti.

"My time with Alison on Fridays is kind of like my sanctuary. Just for a little while, it's a chance to get away from everything. I think we've read every one of the Wimpy Kid books. A new one just came out, so we were pretty excited. And she's pretty darn good at HORSE. She beats me about half the time."


Saturday

6:20-6:45 a.m. Drive to work

7:15-7:35 Review morning team meeting items (plays of the week, funny videos)

7:35-7:55 Breakfast

8:10-8:45 Special-teams meeting

8:45-9:30 Team meeting (share plays of the week, teaching points, practice players of the week)

"I don't believe in diminishing returns in this job. To me, that doesn't apply. I think every minute matters. Every week, there's more you could do, and there are players I wish I could spend more time with. I'm constantly thinking, Whom haven't I sat down with lately?"

9:35-10:10 Sit in on offense and defense meetings

10:10-10:25 Meet with running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery

10:30-11:15 Practice

11:30-12:30 p.m. Walk on treadmill and watch defense meeting

12:30-12:40 Meet with Byrne in the sauna

12:50-1:15 Make practice schedule for upcoming week

1:15-1:45 Prep for travel

1:50-2:20 Drive to airport

3-5 Fly to Chicago

5-6 Bus to hotel

6:15-6:30 Call from Dick Vermeil

6:35-7:25 Production meeting with CBS-TV (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)

7:30-8 Talk with players

8-8:30 Sit in on special-teams meeting

8:30-9 Sit in on defense meeting

9-9:20 Team meeting

9:30-9:50 Snack with team

9:55-10:10 Call Ingrid


Sunday

6:15-8 a.m. Watch opponent tape on iPad

8-8:30 Call Ingrid and Alison

8:30-8:50 Mass

9-9:25 Pregame meal

9:30-10:15 Review game plan and scripts

10:30-10:50 Bus to the stadium

11-11:30 Final prep in head coach's office: Decide actives and inactives; WBAL radio interview; meet with coordinators, coaches and players

11:35-11:45 Meet with NFL game officials

11:50-12 p.m. Meet with team chaplain for prayer and reflection

12:05-12:30 On the field: Oversee warmups; greet officials and opposing head coach

12:35-12:50 Brief talk to the team in the locker room

12:55-1:02 Test headsets with coaches on the field

1:02 Kickoff

1:30 Game delay

1:40-3 In the locker room: Give updates to the team; meet with coaches; remind players to stay hydrated and stretch

3:15 Game resumes: Communicate playcalls and strategy with coaches; communicate with officials

4:05-4:15 Halftime: Check in on offense and defense; talk to the team

4:20 Second half begins

6 Overtime

6:25 Game ends, shake hands with opposing coach

6:40-6:50 Team prayer and talk

7-7:10 Postgame news conference

7:45-8:15 Bus to the airport

9:15-11:15 Flight home: Watch tape of the game, take notes (got through a quarter and a half)

"When I watch the game on the flight home, I'm trying to separate the emotion from it. I'm trying to identify the plays that made the difference, what we could've done better, how we can correct mistakes, what I want to say. It's tough. You know how much everyone put into that game, but the clock is already ticking. You've got to come up with what you're going to install next week, and you only have a few days to do it."

12 a.m. Kiss Ingrid goodnight

*All times Eastern.

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