John Harbaugh Praises Lions Adding Chris Board: ‘Heck of a Player’

John Harbaugh

Getty John Harbaugh celebrates a Ravens win in Denver.

The Detroit Lions haven’t been splashy in free agency, but they have signed the kind of players that represent a great fit for their team and roster right now.

One of the best moves in that vein was the team signing linebacker Chris Board from the Baltimore Ravens. There hasn’t been much Board hasn’t seen in terms of elite football as well as culture, and the Lions know he can be a fit for their team not only at linebacker, but in the locker room as well.

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That was a fact that Board’s former coach was all too happy to point out. While speaking to the media at the NFL owners meetings in Florida, Harbaugh was asked about Board and provided a very candid answer on his former player. As he explained to reporters including Tim Twentyman of, Detroit managed to secure a great player when they added Board to the mix.

“John Harbaugh on new Lions LB Chris Board: “He’s a heck of a football player. In terms of special teams, he’s going to be a stalwart. I think he’s also a very good LB. He’s a good space LB, good coverage LB. (Detroit) is getting a great guy & heck of football player,” Twentyman tweeted.

Statistically, Board is ready for a bigger role given the fact that he has only put up 88 total tackles in his career. In spite of that, Harbaugh’s words show he understands the kind of player he is losing in Board. It’s clear he thinks that he could go on to have a successful career with the Lions given the bigger chance he will be getting in Detroit.

Board Revealed Thoughts About Ravens Experience

How will the linebacker do in his shift to the Motor City? Possibly quite well, and the reason could be due to where he received his start. The good news is Board will come from a place where he had a solid ground floor to learn in Baltimore. Board himself admitted he was thankful for the opportunity with the Ravens and enjoyed soaking in some of the things he witnessed to start his career in the league. Those were lessons he believes in.

Speaking on Wednesday March 23 during his introductory presser, Board touched on some of these first thoughts with the media. As he explained to reporters the press conference posted to, his biggest goal is simply to build the culture and see through exactly what the team is trying to build with their new staff and front office.

“I think it was invaluable, coming from a program like the Ravens. (John) Harbaugh, Steve Bisciotti, Eric DeCosta, just seeing how they work and how they move and how they operate. I think it was invaluable moving forward. Seeing how I can help bring it here. Bring some of the things I learned there, I think is definitely invaluable,” he said.

The idea that Board took a chance on the Lions after seeing the Ravens well-oiled machine up close speaks volumes. It’s clear the team’s culture has done an about-face in a short amount of time, which lends to even more hope for the future in the Motor City.

Board’s Stats & Highlights

As for Board the player on the field, the linebacker has not had a huge chance to make a big statistical impact in the league, but his time could be coming in Detroit to do just that. In his career with the Ravens, Board put up 88 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 pass deflection. Board is known well in Baltimore for his work on special teams where he is one of the team’s top players. Here’s a look at some of Board’s best work for the Ravens on the field last year:

Chris Board Top Ten Plays 2021 Baltimore RavensFootball is Family2022-02-18T17:42:08Z

After playing in college for North Dakota State, Board cracked the Ravens and hasn’t looked back. In Detroit, Board will get a chance to prove he is starter material with a one-year pact, which is something he seems to understand. If he manages to play well and accept his role, it could lead to bigger and better things with the team in the near-future.

If Board goes on to have a successful career in Detroit, Harbaugh would likely be counted as a person who was not surprised one bit.

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