A week in the life of an NFL coach
From 5:50 a.m. last Monday morning to 12 a.m. this Monday morning, there were 156 items on Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's calendar. That's 156 meetings to sit it on, gatherings with the media, film reviews, talks with players, team executives, assistant coaches, calls to his wife. Of the 168 hours in the week, Harbaugh had at least one thing cooking in nearly every one of them.
Harbaugh provided a line-by-line list of his entire week's schedule to ESPN the Magazine in the days leading up to the Ravens' game with the Chicago Bears.
Here's what stood out to me:
- Of the seven nights in the week, Harbaugh slept in his own bed for three of them. Awakening on his office couch at 5:50 Monday morning, Harbaugh didn't make it home until 11 p.m. on Wednesday.
"Sleeping at the office is about maximizing my time," he said. "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."
- Harbaugh makes a constant effort to stay in touch with his family. He called his wife, Ingrid, multiple times a day, had lunch with his wife and 10-year-old daughter Allison on Monday and spent Friday evening playing HORSE and reading with Allison as well. A 10-minute window at 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday is dedicated to a call with brother Jim, and the eldest Harbaugh son watches opponent tape with his father, Jack, on Tuesday afternoon. He called his grandfather, Joe Cipiti, on Friday afternoon as well.
- Harbaugh is always meeting with someone. If it's not a player or assistant coach, it's owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass, general manager Ozzie Newsome, assistant GM Eric DeCosta, senior VP of public relations Kevin Byrne or director of security Darren Sanders.
"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?"
- Any spare minute is spent watching film. It's the first thing he does after boarding the flight home, the first thing he does Monday and Tuesday morning and the last thing he does Monday and Tuesday night.
Through it all, Harbaugh still wishes there was time to do more. "There's always more you could do," he says. "But if you don't sleep, you can't function."