At his season-review press conference this afternoon, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh indicated that he expects offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to be back with the team next season.
Harbaugh pointed to the improvement on offense during the second half, despite the setbacks from losing guards Marshall Yanda and Alex Lewis in the early going and not having quarterback Joe Flacco during all of training camp.
“The bottom line is we improved tremendously, and we faced a great deal of adversity on offense,” Harbaugh told the media.
Though Mornhingweg’s playcalling has been maligned by fans for its lack of creativity –which has long been a problem here in Baltimore — the stats bear out what Harbaugh is saying. The Ravens were one of the highest-scoring teams in the second half of the season. And Flacco, as he eased in, threw 12 of his 18 touchdowns on the season in the last eight games, during which the team went 5-3.
Still, the abysmal first half of the season-deciding finale against the Cincinnati Bengals would seem to show it doesn’t take much for the group to backslide. And the overall picture (27th in yards per game, 29th in passing yards per game on the year) is not pretty. Not surprisingly, the team will focus on getting more weapons in the receiving corps during the offseason.
“There’s no question, I think if anybody in here looks at the needs on our team, that’s where we’re going to be looking to fill our roster [in the draft],” said Harbaugh. “I’m not giving away any secret there. Everybody in the league knows that.”
With the retirement of Dean Pees, the team is in the market for a defensive coordinator, and Harbaugh stressed that the biggest thing he’s looking for, whether they decide on an internal candidate or someone from outside the organization, is continuity.
“I’m a believer in this system,” he said. “I think this system has been something that’s been developed over a long period of time, and we’ve worked hard every single year to make it better — we’ve evolved it and grown it. And I think you’ve seen the results.”
“I’m not going to bring in somebody from the outside and flip the whole system around and do something completely different,” he later said. “We’re going to build on everything we’ve done.”