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John Harbaugh Hands Out ‘Effort Stickers’ to Ravens Players


At 2-7, motivation might not be the easiest thing in the world to come by. For head coach John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens, one method of inspiration has involved turning back the clock to grade school and college in the form of handing out “effort stickers” to players exhibiting hustle and determination in the midst of a wasted season.

“It kind of feels like we’re back in elementary school a little bit,” joked defensive end Chris Canty. “Certainly, it’s not one of those things to be overlooked, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Effort to the football is very important.”

Coach Harbaugh has begun pasting the coin-sized stickers adorned with the team logo above the lockers of players he feels are continuing to “Play Like A Raven,” despite the disappointing on-field product delivered so far in 2015. Quarterback Joe Flacco currently leads the team with 32.

It’s possible John adopted the idea from his brother Jim, who reintroduced the concept of helmet stickers to the University of Michigan this season. Players get to add one for every “hustle” play; a crucial block, tackle or piece of coverage that might not necessarily appear on the stat sheet.

Tangible motivation like this is great, but with such a poor record, future employment should be incentive enough. It’s one of the longest standing truisms in sport that “players don’t tank, organisations tank.”

On track for a potential top-five draft pick in April, many Ravens players will need to pick up their game if they want to be back starting in the purple and black next season.

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