After the 2016 season concludes later today, it might not be long before the Baltimore Ravens make swift changes within the coaching staff. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is likely going to fire offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and look for a new offensive coordinator in the 2017 offseason.
If Mornhinweg is fired, that would mean that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will have six different offensive coordinators in the last six seasons. Looking at that at face value, one would say that maybe Flacco is the problem but that isn’t true. Look at the following offensive coordinators the Ravens have had since 2012:
- Cam Cameron
- Jim Caldwell
- Gary Kubiak
- Marc Trestman
- Marty Mornhinweg
Out of the five offensive coordinators, two of them left Baltimore to become head coaches (Caldwell and Kubiak) while Cameron and Trestman are not coaching at the moment. It remains to be seen what will happen with Marty but regardless the musical chairs at the offensive coordinator position has to stop. If Marty is indeed fired, the next offensive coordinator better be one who is efficient and knows how to call a balanced game or Harbaugh might be the one who gets the boot eventually.
Harbaugh has had an 8-8 record or better in eight out of the last nine seasons including a Super Bowl championship. He’s had only one losing season in nine years as a head coach. Harbaugh has a record of 95-63 as a head coach with the Ravens and that is an elite record in my opinion. Despite missing the playoffs in three out of the last four seasons, you would be hard pressed to find a head coach with a better resume than that. Finding a guy like Harbaugh and having the success he has had is not easy. The grass isn’t always greener.
When the Ravens hired Harbaugh in 2008, it would have been a rocky start for the organization if leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were not around. Lewis and Reed were instrumental in making sure that the locker room bought in to what Harbaugh was saying in the very beginning. You have to remember at the time a lot of players were advocating for Rex Ryan to be the head coach when he was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens at the time.
Former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott for example left the team to sign with the New York Jets as Ryan was the new head coach for the Jets in 2009. Shortly after leaving the Ravens, Scott said that Ryan was the real head coach for the Ravens during the 2008 season.
Why do I bring this up? Well, because if Harbaugh is on the hot seat in 2017 and the Ravens let Harbaugh go after the 2017 season, I personally don’t see the Ravens signing a retread head coach. I see the Ravens trying to make an under the radar move at the head coaching spot once again and if the team does that, does this roster have the leadership to make players buy into what the new head coach would be saying? Lewis and Reed won’t be available this time around to keep things in order.
With Harbaugh, I don’t think the Ravens have a head coaching problem so I don’t think he should be on the hot seat. I think the Ravens have a coordinator problem on offense and defense so you can add defensive coordinator Dean Pees into this equation because the Ravens have lost 15 games since 2012 in which the team had the lead entering the fourth quarter.
The faults of hiring ineffective coordinators on this team shouldn’t just fall on Harbaugh, it should fall on the front office too. Management has to know what kind of team they have and it is clear especially on the offensive side of the ball that the coordinators do not mesh well with the players. That’s something that has to get corrected once and for all during the 2017 offseason or Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti might make bigger changes down the line.