John Harbaugh says Ravens running game needs an overhaul

John Harbaugh said the Ravens' running game needs an overhaul in 2014. - Andy Lyons

Harbaugh told reporters that two contributing running backs aren't enough on the roster.

Forget about Ray Rice's off-field mess.

But remember how poorly he performed on it this past season. Excluding his rookie season when he was a backup, Rice finished the 2013 year with just 660 yards and four touchdowns.

After having a great deal of success with the running game under John Harbaugh, the Ravens faltered and had its worst rushing campaign in franchise history.

At the NFL combine, Harbaugh told reporters that it's time to fix the malfunctions that took place this past season.

"I think the whole thing just needs an overhaul," Harbaugh said, via The Baltimore Sun. "It was a myriad of things. We didn't block people well. We didn't move people. We didn't get on people. ... Our backs both weren't 100 percent and they didn't make enough guys miss, didn't break enough tackles."

Shots fired.

Harbaugh should get some help in crafting a better system with Gary Kubiak at offensive coordinator. Kubiak has built a great reputation when it comes to running the ball, both as an offensive coordinator at Denver and as a head coach in Houston.

But in addition, Harbaugh mentioned another problem the Ravens faced this season.

"We also didn't throw well enough to get people out of single-high, press man [coverage]," Harbaugh said. "We were always pretty much regularly going up against a heavy box, so that compounded a problem. We were probably a throw to set up the run offense the last 11, 12 games and we didn't throw the ball well enough to set up the run. We just didn't get the job done."

Harbaugh said there could be a scenario where the Ravens add some running backs this offseason.

"We want to get a good guy with good vision who will run hard and protect the football," he said. "Ray can do it, Bernard [Pierce] can do it, but we're looking for more backs. We want to add some backs."

The NFL draft could provide some solid options in that department. Ohio State's Carlos Hyde is a big, powerful back that could contribute. Towson's Terrance West has become a local favorite among Ravens fans.

Auburn's Tre Mason could be a surprise pick in the second or third round if the Ravens wind up interested in him.

In free agency, backs such as LeGarrette Blount, Rashad Jennings and Ben Tate will be available. That's not to say the Ravens would make a run at any of those particular players.

But it's apparent that all options will be on the table as the Ravens rebuild their offense.




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