The Baltimore Ravens were thought to be making a change at one of their coordinator positions.
However, in a surprise move, the team announced that they will retain offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg:
Marty Mornhinweg, Dean Pees, and Jerry Rosburg will remain the offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators, per Coach Harbaugh.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 3, 2017
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta gave his vote of confidence to his offensive coordinator on Monday, while cleaning out his locker.
“Personally, I’d like to see us have some consistency and stay with the group that we’ve got,” Pitta said. “I think we have a lot to build upon.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco believed that the Ravens needed to make more aggressive moves on the offensive side of the ball.
“It needs to be to go out there and be aggressive and be in attack mode,” Flacco said of the offense. “I think we need to find some ways to shorten some of our drives and have some bigger plays.”
The Ravens also strayed away from the run later on down the stretch. Their pass/run splits over the course of Mornhinweg’s tenure have been eye-opening to say the least:
Pass/Run Splits during Marty's time. 44/10, 48/25, 30/28, 41/31, 35/15, 36/27, 47/17, 52/13, 30/23, 44/25, 49/16
— Chris (@ChrisJustJoking) January 3, 2017
At the end of the season, Baltimore finished with 679 passing attempts. By comparison, they only ran the ball 367 times, meaning that they only ran the ball 35% of the time. Offensive guard Marshal Yanda spoke about wanting to run the ball more during the season:
“It would be nice to run the ball more,” right guard Marshal Yanda said. “But in the end, I found out with that over the years that’s Marty’s call. That’s John’s call.”
The Ravens had problems with health of the offensive line throughout the season. Yanda missed some games, as well as Ronnie Stanley, Alex Lewis, and Rick Wagner, all starters. This proved to be very detrimental to a run game which would finish 21st in yards per attempt (4.0), 28th in total rushing yards (1463), and 22nd in rushing offense.
A Mornhinweg-led offense finished 21st in the league in scoring (21.4 PPG), 17th in yards per game (347.7) and 28th in touchdowns (32) this season. These numbers are not up to par with what the Ravens should expect in an offense.
Despite all of this, Mornhinweg is back. Maybe the Ravens give him another year to work things out. Maybe head coach John Harbaugh believes that he can right the ship with his own guys.
But here’s the problem: Harbaugh has hired “his guys” in the past. Not one of them have really worked out. Juan Castillo hasn’t been the best of offensive line coaches. Castillo coached with Harbaugh in Philadelphia previously. Cam Cameron was a mediocre offensive coordinator at best. Cameron was fired after starting off the season poorly in 2012. Harbaugh coached under Cameron as the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator in 1997 at Indiana University.
Now Mornhinweg, who was with Harbaugh from 2003-08 with the Eagles, is the Ravens offensive coordinator. He didn’t do a very good job to be frank and the fact that he has been brought back is mind-boggling. Will he turn the offense around next season?
Who knows, but one thing that I do know is that if Harbaugh doesn’t end the 2017 season in the playoffs, his job will be in jeopardy.