To start off, if you were to tell me before the season that the now former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman would be fired before defensive coordinator Dean Pees, I would've thought you were either nuts or Dean Pees's biggest fan. But that was the case Monday, as John Harbaugh decided to make a change on the offensive side of the football after just five games of the 2016 season. Harbaugh fired Marc Trestman and replaced him with Marty Mornhinweg, who was the teams quarterbacks coach before the move was made.
Mornhinweg is now the team's fifth offensive coordinator since 2012, and Trestman the second that was fired by Harbaugh. We all know the first one that was fired and the one who started this barrage of offensive coordinator's over the last five seasons. You all know his name. Mr. Malcolm "Cam" Cameron. He was the Ravens offensive coordinator from 2008-2012 and was ironically fired after a loss to the Washington Redskins late into the 2012 season when the team was 9-4.
Cameron is more known nationally for his tenure as offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 2002-2006 and his only season as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins when the team went 1-15 in 2007. However, many Ravens fans remember him in a negative light and felt that his offensive style and play calling held the Ravens offense back from being a true Super Bowl contender. The weird thing about that is if Lee Evans holds onto the football during the 2011 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, the Ravens go to the Super Bowl with Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator.
Over the course of Cameron's five seasons with the team, there was a lot of speculation and questioning as to why Cameron still kept his job after each loss the team had. The success of the team didn't matter, Cameron was the most hated man in Baltimore sports at the time. Some thought that Cameron was only around for as long as he was because of his friendship with Harbaugh, and Its an opinion that still makes the rounds with Ravens fans to this day. That is why when Cameron was fired in 2012, the belief was that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti pressured Harbaugh into making the change and that Harbaugh didn't make the change on his own accord. Whether the stories were true or just pure speculation, the end result was the Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII with new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
Fast forward four years later and it looked like the Ravens and Harbaugh were going to have another Cam Cameron situation on their hands. A situation where it was clear that Trestman was going to be around longer than he probably should have been, just like Cameron.
With Trestman at the helm, the Ravens were completely stagnant on offense throughout the first five games of the year. Predictable play calling, no adjustments, and completely ignoring the run game made Trestman into a big target. The axe truly fell Sunday as John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco voiced their displeasures with the offense after the team's 16-10 loss to the Redskins. There were also reports of offensive players who were not pleased with Trestman's play calling in the locker room after the game.
Marc Trestman had truly lost the trust of his offense and his head coach, which made Harbaugh's decision a no-brainer and sealed Trestman's fate.
Trestman's firing was not only a sudden and needed change, it showed how much Harbaugh knew the offense needed something to bolster their morale, to give them a fresh start and a new face. Maybe we can trace it back to Cameron. Harbaugh coached every game that Cameron was the offensive coordinator in Baltimore for those five seasons. He saw such losses like in 2011 against the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. Their losses in 2012 to teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, the Charlie Batch led Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cameron's last game against the Redskins. He saw the offense be completely outmatched and predictable in losses such as those and he even saw the same thing in victories too. We must remember that Harbaugh was a first time head coach with no previous head coaching experience. The Baltimore Ravens have been the only team in any level of football where he has been a head coach.
Harbaugh needed the Cameron years to learn when a change is indeed necessary to benefit your team.
John Harbaugh is different from the years with Cameron. He knew that change needed to happen on the offensive side of the football and that trying to solve the problem with Trestman was not the way to go after his experience with Cameron. What makes it even more interesting was that according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zriebec, the Ravens were considering letting go of Trestman after the end of last season. They gave him a mulligan because of all the injuries they suffered during the 2015 season and Trestman was back for 2016.
I know that many will say that Dean Pees is still the defensive coordinator so Harbaugh has not learned his lesson entirely, but this year they brought in new secondary coach Leslie Frazier. If the defense starts to show signs of their 2015 form, Pees will be gone.
As George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I believe that Harbaugh headed that warning and decided not to repeat history for the sake of his trusts with his coaches. He knew change was needed and instead of being patient and waiting it out, he decided to act now and hope that a new direction will lead to better things. Now that Harbaugh has made the move sooner than most thought, its up to Marty Mornhinweg to try to fix this offense and mold it into what it can be.
What do you guys think? Do you believe Trestman's firing is a result of Harbaugh learning his lesson from the years with Cam Cameron? Comment below and sound off.