In recent years, Ravens coordinators have consistently been the most maligned of the team's personnel, including players and members of the front office. Ozzie Newsome has done his part, and the Ravens should field solid units on both sides of the ball. However, if one of the units were to fail, blame would be dealt out to the leaders of those units: the coordinators.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg came under fire last year. While he was an improvement over Marc Trestman, the run-pass ratio was still heavily skewed towards the pass. Against the Steelers, Patriots and Cowboys, arguably the three biggest games of the Ravens season, the combined ratio was 131 to 56. The Cowboys game especially stands out as one where running the ball should have been the focus. The Ravens abandonned the run for no particular reason in a close game where they had found success running the ball early, against a team where keeping the defense fresh and off the field should have been of paramount importance.
The Ravens cannot afford to be a passing team. They do not have the weapons and it is counter-intuitive to the mentality the front office seems to have considering the investments they have made on the defensive side of the ball. The front office seems to want to build the team to be a defensive juggernaut. Morningwheg needs to his part to fit into the team's philosphy. Run the ball and use Greg Roman's creativity to help the defense be at their very best.
On the other side of the ball, Dean Pees has also come under fire over his tenure. Blamed for favouring a more conservative approach, he has often been held responsible for the late defensive collapses that seem to have plagued the defense in recent years. The counter argument presents the lack of talent on the defense, specifically in the secondary, as the main reason for his conservative ways. But Ozzie Newsome has fixed that as well.
The Ravens will field at least two solid corners and three reliable safeties with star power to boot in their secondary, backed by a pass rush that, though unproven in the from of Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser and to some extent Kamelei Correa (as a blitzer), presents explosiveness and raw talent ready to be moulded. With legitimate questions on the offensive line, Dean Pees cannot afford to let the defense be anything less then stellar. Fans have seen him scheme great performances for three quarters only to have leads lost late. The Ravens now have the versatility to play three safeties in a dime package along with a NASCAR style of pass rush that will not have to be subsituted against hurry-up offenses seen late in games.
For my money, Dean Pees' seat is warmer. Excuses are nil. The defense is complete. In a season where they need to win games, the standard for the unit's play should not be expected to be anything less lower than first-rate.
Which coordinator sits on the hotter seat
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