Earlier today in his press conference, head coach John Harbaugh announced that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return next season. As angry as that makes most of you, it is actually the smart thing to do.
When asked about Marty returning, Harbaugh cited the adversity early in the season with all the injuries and how well the offense improved late in the season.
Although fans have been calling for his firing all season, Marty has proven himself to stay for at least another season. After starting the season with one of the worst offenses in league, Marty and the offense stepped up after the bye week, having one of the NFL’s top scoring offense in that time frame.
The early season struggles are in large part due to injuries to key players. Losing Danny Woodhead and Marshal Yanda and having quarterback Joe Flacco playing with an injured back, proved to be a recipe for disaster.
But, once the Ravens hit their bye week, everything changed for the better. The offense was able to get healthy again with Woodhead and Flacco becoming 100%, the offensive line started to show signs of dominance with running back averaging close to five yards per carry and giving Flacco loads of time to throw the ball.
Many, including myself, have clamored that Marty’s offense is too predictable. It is usually just runs to the right side and what seems to be just dinks and dunks. Although part of the blame goes to Marty, most of it is on the offense itself. Flacco has to continuously check it down because his receivers cannot get separation, or when they do, they cannot hold onto the ball. I will admit, my biggest concern with Marty is that he goes away from running the ball way too much.
Maybe he thinks the passing will work, or maybe Harbaugh wants to show the world that Flacco still has it. Either way, as Sandra Bullock says in “The Blind Side”, “Run the damn ball!”
The smart decision is to retain Marty. Plain and simple. The Ravens have had a revolving door at offensive coordinator. Marty is the fifth coordinator since the Ravens’ Super Bowl season, and is looking to be the first to coach for more than a season and a half since Cam Cameron in 2010 and 2011. Consistency is key for success in the NFL, and firing a coordinator one year in on a consistent basis just calls for failure.
Plus, tight end coach Greg Roman’s contract is up and is being heavily rumored to coach up the the University of Michigan. Roman brought the running game back to Baltimore, going from the 28th rushing offense in 2016, to the 11th rushing offense this season.
As long as the Ravens focus on bettering the offense this offseason, they should be perfectly fine. This free agency class of wide receivers is one of the best in recent memory. The Ravens just need to find a big bodied receiver that can win the 50/50 balls instead of getting another speedy receiver that is unable to gain separation. Lets just hope they can do this.
P.S.- Quit thinking that Gary Kubiak is going to walk through those doors, he is staying in Denver for the forseeable future and Baltimore is not necessarily the sexiest choice for an offensive coordinator.