With today’s breaking (yet, not earth shattering) news that the Baltimore Ravens have ousted Marc Trestman, and have handed the Offensive Coordinator reigns to Quarterbacks Coach Marty Mornhinweg, many fans have been asking the same questions.
Who is this guy?
He sounds familiar, why is that?
Does he run the ball?
How does his offense look?
We’ve got you covered, Ravens fans.
Marty Mornhinweg (not Morningwig as I’ve seen it spelled far too many time in less than 24 hours) has been a mainstay in the NFL coaching scene since he first stepped on in 1995 as an Offensive Assistant & Quality Control Coach with the Green Bay Packers, where he would be promoted to Quarterbacks Coach the following year, only to take the leap to the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 to take the role of Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach.
Mornhinweg spent 4 years in San Fran, working with some guy named Steve Young. Another who went by TO. Jerry Rice too. No big deal really.
Worth noting: During his tenure in San Fran, Mornhinweg’s office ranked 2nd, 6th, 22nd, & 5th in PPG, respectively.
He was able to parlay his success with the 49ers to a head coaching job in 2001 with the Detroit Lions, which culminated in a miserable 5-27 record over two seasons, and an eventual drop of the ax as the team cut him loose by the end of 2002.
Taking a step back, in 2003 Marty latched on with the Philadelphia Eagles as a Senior Assistant, Assistant Head Coach, and by 2006, Mornhinweg was the Offensive Coordinator once again. His tenure would last through the 2012 season, when the Eagles opted to flush the entire coaching staff, Mornhinweg included.
The following offseason, Marty joined the Jets for a 2 year stint as OC, then joined the Ravens in 2015 as the QB Coach.
Recent Successes & Failures
Here’s a quick peak at some of the rankings of Mornhinweg’s offenses since he took over as Offensive Coordinator of the Eagles in 2006.
While some of the rankings look great- top 10 pass offense 6 straight seasons, top 10 run offense 5 times, top 10 scoring offense 5 times- the final 3 years look rather abysmal in regards to the pass offense and points.
Doing a little further digging? It makes TOTAL sense.
Anybody care to name an offensive coordinator in this league who can succeed with the likes of Vince Young, Mike Vick, Nick Foles and Geno Smith?
Ok, fine the Patriots probably could. But outside of the outlier with an asterisk, that collective heap of junk won’t serve any offense justice.
What Should the Ravens Offense Expect?
First and foremost, I’ll tell you what NOT to expect- don’t expect similar results to what the Eagles had in their dominant years of McNabb, Westbrook & a young DeSean Jackson. As talented as this Ravens roster is, you’d be hard pressed to convince me that the aforementioned players are comparable to Flacco, Terrance West & Steve Smith Sr.
On that same note, it’s fair to say Ravens can expect better than what the later years of Mornhinweg’s play calling days pumped out with the likes of Mike Vick, Kevin Kolb & Geno Smith.
That being said, I think it’s fair to say there will be some drastic changes, starting with the run game, which will go from sporadic and non-existent to, well, present and without abandonment issues. After all, if such a change wasn’t likely to happen under Mornhinweg, why make the change at all?
Back in 2013 when Mornhinweg headed to the New York Jets to run the offense under then Head Coach Rex Ryan, Connor Orr of NJ.com caught up with Kevin Higgins, former QB Coach under Marty Mornhinweg, who broke down the OC’s play calling in some serious detail. Here’s the key takeaways that should please Ravens fans everywhere:
- MM focuses on timing routes, as he believes in feel and rhythm, referencing putting QB Mark Sanchez on a clock/buzzer to get plays off in a certain time.
- According to Higgins, slants, out routes and skinny posts play a big role in the offense of MM.
- Nearly every play has a designed check down.
- From 2010-11 under MM, the Eagles were top-10 in pass plays of 20+ yards, and number 1 in 40+ yard plays.
- Per Higgins, “typically you’re playing with two backs in the backfield, so you’re going to have the opportunity to run power, run gap schemes, and run inside and outside zones.”
Of course this is 4 years ago, so it’s hard to say if all of Mornhinweg’s philosophies still hold true. But if they do? The Ravens could be in for a similar surprise as the one that followed the dismissal of Cam Cameron.