Ravens Coaching Staff Needs to be Held Accountable Too

Dean Pees Harbaugh

For 6 out of 7 seasons and five straight the Baltimore Ravens were postseason participants. After that degree of success, as a fan you grow a little accustomed to that second season.

So sitting at home, watching the playoff games without anything on the line seemed a little different. When you don’t have a dog in the fight your perspective changes and sometimes you see things a bit more clearly when the emotion is stripped away.

As I watched (great games by the way) it was hard not to compare the playoff participants to the Ravens 2013 squad. And from my vantage point one thing that jumped out at me was that relatively speaking, the teams still standing heading into the weekend benefit from superior coaching.

John Harbaugh defenders will point to his record since he was named the Ravens head coach and rhetorically ask, “Who has been better?”

Fair question, so let me give credit where credit is due and say his resume is among the best ever as a 6-year head coach.

John Harbaugh is determined and possesses and insatiable desire and ability to stare adversity in the face, gather the collective will of his team and channel it in a positive direction. He is gritty and his team embraces that quality.

Without it there is no second Lombardi in the trophy case.

Without it, the Ravens wouldn’t have even reached 8-8 this season.

But that tough 1970’s Mid-Western mentality isn’t enough in the modern day NFL. Coaching needs to be efficient while demonstrating tactical prowess and their players need to be precise technicians.

While watching games since the start of the new year, college bowl games included, I couldn’t help but think how unimaginative the Ravens are on both sides of the ball.

Defensively the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy can take you only so far. Defenses become blasé with that approach. They lose their edge, force fewer turnovers and then can’t get off the field in the fourth quarter when it matters most.

Offensively, as if you need to be reminded, the Ravens are an absolute mess. Teams with less talent and with similar injuries on their offensive lines are light years ahead of Harbaugh’s troops. Zone blocking schemes, the label of which scares the daylights out of Ravens fans, are effective when executed properly.

Lines move in unison and running backs patiently wait for their blockers to clean out zones on the field after which they adeptly cut back and explode into open space. With the Ravens, how many times have you watched two linemen occupy one defender while another moves untouched towards the ball carrier or Joe Flacco?

The teams we watched this weekend have passing route combinations that have purpose and are complementary, designed to exploit soft spots in the defensive alignment. Relatively speaking the Ravens look more like old school electric football.

Most teams move their receivers around, put them in motion to give them a head start on creating separation or simply to detect tendencies in coverage schemes.

We watched bunch sets, rubs, well-designed screens, tight ends flanked out wide or No. 1 receivers lined up in the slot all to create mismatches and confusion. The Ravens just line up and say, “Here We Are”, try to stop us.

(Damn slogan)

No misdirection, no red herrings, nothing to plant the seed of doubt in the minds of opposing defenders to slow them down, make them think and essentially make them less effective.

Part of the process towards becoming more effective is to review the season in detail. The Ravens coaches are doing that at this very moment – breaking down every second of game tape from the 2013 season. It’s a necessary exercise for those who aspire to improve.

But while these coaches measure the quality and accountability of their players, maybe Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti might consider hiring someone outside of the organization to do the same with the team’s coaching staff.

Aren’t their performances worthy of a discerning eye too?

Shouldn’t they be held accountable?

Self-scouting isn’t bad but it can’t be solely relied upon. It’s like grading with a curve.

But even with the curve, this coaching staff flunked miserably in 2013.

Admitting it is the first step in the right direction.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

34 Raves on “Ravens Coaching Staff Needs to be Held Accountable Too

  1. John P on said:

    Amen Tony! Couldn’t agree more!

    Our team has been great. It’s hard to argue with the results. But Harbaugh is driven by ego. The mutiny put him in his place last year. Bisciotti forcing Cam Cameron to be fired ignited the team and coupled with Ray’s retirement announcement (probably forced by the front office as well) is what fueled our Super Bowl run.

    I’m not saying Harbaugh should be fired. The results prove otherwise. But he does need to be held accountable. And he was terrible this year. He single-handedly cost us both the Packers & Steelers games. Add 2 wins and we win the division.

    And those are mistakes we need to learn from to continue to compete for championships.

  2. Bruce on said:

    I agree in what you have described about the 2013 Ravens. As a loyal fan we have been spoiled and expect to be a #1 team. People and coaches need to be accountable. Form the top to the bottom.

  3. FL Raven on said:

    Tony,

    Your insight and opines are always top notch and appreciated. Harbs certainly gets a pass this year just like Coughlin got and I’m sure Harbs feels his coaches deserve the same pass. Coaches that win the championships in their sports rarely get more than two-three years of a pass though so I’m sure Harbs and his staff will be held accountable if the team does not bounce back next year but while we fell down, 8-8 is hardly falling apart at the seems. Based on the personnel we had, I felt last year’s team over acheived and this year’s team underacheived but rarely does the best team during the season will the championship in any sport anymore. It’s all about who gets hot and healthy at the right time.

    That being said I feel the same as you and probably most other fans about the unimaginative offense and defense. Problem is we have been saying this for most of the past 10-15 years. This offense is so bland every year. First it was Billick’s fault, then Cavanuagh, then Cam, now Caldwell but there are no constants through this time other than Ozzie and I doubt he is to blame for our schemes. It’s almost as if there is some type of curse or spell that comes over our OCs once they take the position. I just don’t get it and I can’t understand why it always happens. The D on the other hand was creative and exciting under turn coat Ryan and for that very short time Chuck was here but it’s bland as heck under Pees. Two perrenial all pro OLs and no pass rush the last half of the season. Few blitzes and every time we blitz its almost always picked up. Problem is no one is happy with the offense or defense but you can’t replace everyone and contrary to what everyone is saying, you can’t expect Harbs to fire his OC and DC a year after they were in the superbowl. Just like any other leader, If a head coach doesn’t show some loyalty, he will have a very difficult time getting top coaches to work for him. That said, everyone should be held accountable going forward.

    • Nancy on said:

      Your insight is also top notch, nice job explaining how I feel. I should print out your response and hand it out to folks who are calling for Harbs head.

  4. Hut Guy on said:

    As a retired educator with 41 years in the classroom, you were always under review and held accountable for results no matter your past successes and personal accolades. You are “spot on” Tony… an outside review is necessary of the leadership if you want to get better and not stagnate into thinking you have the right formula for success. As with education, trends change, students change and expectations change…..so it is with the Ravens. What worked with last year’s personnel didn’t this year because the personnel changed…did the methodology change??? If it did …did it fit the personnel?? Biscotti needs to look at this before we get deluded into thinking we have it correct. Great article as always, Tony.

  5. Nick on said:

    Has there been an official date and time set for the State of the Ravens address yet? I’m very interested to hear what the FO and Ownership have to say! I agree, there are some things which become evident while watching the playoffs this year from the fan sideline so to speak.

  6. PG County Raven on said:

    It’s one thing to have talent and it’s another to have quality coaching. We certainly lacked coaching this year. Great coaches adapt their schemes to their personnel. Now if this was done this past season, then obviously we lack some serious talent in our players and I doubt that. Coaching and decisionmaking was an issue this past season!! There was nothing enlighting or innovative with our Ravens this season. I assume they bought into the motto: “Here we are!” Yes sir, there we were! Exposed as a mediocre team on both sides of the ball, actually worse on offense! And the challenges were consistent all season long meaning that’s who we are! Does the coaching staff fit the organizational style of football we desire to be? Are they adaptive, agile, and energetic enough to keep pushing the edge of the envelope on both sides of the ball to meet the expected goals and get the desired results? If not, time to change.

  7. Mark on said:

    Thanks Tony. Right on the money! Harbaugh alleges there is “accountability” for all and we will see. Hopefully , Bisciotti will ask the right questions of Ozzie and Harbaugh including “Are we out-schemed by other offensive and defensive coordinators week in and week out?” and “Have we lost games to teams with far less talent because of our coaching?” Having no prior experience as a coordinator on either side of the ball, Harbs may not know enough to honestly answer those critical questions.

  8. RichieG on said:

    Hey TL,
    As much as I think the raves’ O was bland, boring, AND baaaad, is it REALLY the coaching and schemes – ie: Did AndyReid’s OC use the ground game enough in the 2nd half; how is it that the GB D & the Eagles’ D couldn’t get off the field in the waning minutes of the game; why couldn’t J Gruden adjust to SD’s adjustments in the 2nd half. Maybe the NFL coaching tree is too incestuous for new-age thinking; maybe the team in control at halftime has expended too much energy to play at a high level in the 2nd half (how many times in recent memory has a team rallied big-time in the 2nd half); maybe it is due to a rift between the FO & the coaches, ie: why NOT play the Haaavaaad guy if he is soooo great coming out of the backfield; maybe it is purely talent level and the raves FO/fans/media have vastly OVERrated the team’s talent in most areas – ergo the OZ is OVERrated (GinoG!!! According to the coach, he got better as the year went on; according to the DTs from NE & Cinn, he really didn’t!?!
    Maybe it’s just fate – less than an inch and a pass is batted down.
    Anyway, maybe we’ll find a new OC, KO will heal and stabilize the O-line, Flacco will move past his davidcarr-ization, and the raves will make the playoffs next year…hope so!!!
    Cheers.

    • JerryB on said:

      There is little doubt that the coaching staff WILL be held accountable by Bisciotti as it has in the past! Despite his silence DURING the season, he ALWAYS speaks loudly and clearly in the postseason! Bisciotti is NOT likely to “stand pat” after the most dismal season under Harbaugh’s leadership……

    • Scot K. on said:

      One thing to look at in the evaluation is the addition of Castillo. Last year he was at Philly and McCoy had his worst year as a pro. This year Castillo was gone and McCoy leads the NFL in rushing. Castillo is brought to the Ravens this year and Ray Rice has his worst year. I grant you injuries played a factor; but this has to be more than just pure coincidence.

      • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

        Castillo was the defensive coordinator in Philly in 2011 and the first few weeks of ’12 before getting fired.

        Before that, he had coached offense from 1990-2010, and been a part of some pretty good running games.

        Yes, he failed miserably here – and should go – but he’s no dummy, and using McCoy’s 2012 as an example isn’t fair – he wasn’t even on that side of the ball.

  9. Eric on said:

    Love the “old school electric football” analogy. I actually loved that game as a kid.

    I was most disappointed with the disappearance of Torrey Smith in the last quarter of the season. Any HC or OC worth their salt finds a way to get the ball to their most explosive player. He was nowhere to be seen in the second half agains the Bengals. They could have lined him up in the backfield and thrown those same short passes that they did to Ray Rice and maybe he wouldn’t have fallen down or doing belly flops after catching them the way Ray Rice does. In that regard they failed miserably, and to me it is unacceptable.

  10. Matt on said:

    Tony, you make some great points as always. The one word that I think fits the offense is predictable. The tendencies on offense were often noticeable and I am just a fan. Imagine how easy it is for opposing defenses and their coordinator to expose those tendencies. The Ravens this past year had trouble getting first downs. They historically seemed to be a team who would grind games out with runs and short passes. It seemed like their game plan was to just beat the other team deep every chance they get. It reminded me of that kid you play in Madden who goes deep on pretty much every play no matter what the situation. Oh the run didn’t work on that play, lets go deep. Get stuffed on a screen, go deep. 3rd and 2, lets go deep. Also, it seemed like any time they got a penalty they would automatically feel the need to go deep to make up for that yardage and then some. Always looked like they were playing from behind. People talk about the offensive line and how it was such an issue this year, it was. But regardless of the offensive line the Ravens still found ways to heave the ball down the field going for the home run at least once per series. Seems as though Flacco had enough time to get rid of the ball in those situations. The receivers could only gain separation by beating their man in single coverage and running past them. Opposing defenses easily picked that up. Rarely did the Ravens have long drives where they had multiple first downs and really wore down the opposing defense. Creating separation, getting open and then actually catching the ball were all issues among the receiving core. That is where having Pitta hurt and Boldin removed hurts. Though not all of the time, but when Flacco was hurried or sacked some of those were due to coverage, not always due to the offensive line getting beat or not holding their blocks. I guess the TV camera angles don’t offer that view so it is not always as easy to pick that up.
    I agree that the coaches need to be held accountable and I like your suggestion about the eval by an outside source. Harbaugh’s clock management has always bothered me, it is pathetic. Being a fan I don’t claim to know more about football than the guys who are paid big money to coach. In certain situations though it seemed like even the fans knew that he made the wrong decisions and he rarely has answers as to why he did things. This has been going on well before this year and it has not improved. Coaching has cost the Ravens a few games this year and also some in the past. It has never mattered until this year because they always found ways to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, this year they didn’t make the playoffs so things like clock management become much more exposed. It could be said that coaching cost the Ravens the playoffs this year.

  11. JerryB on said:

    Great Post, Tony! Whether you will admit it or not, Harbaugh caught lightening in a bottle as a rookie head coach when he was FORCED to use Joe Flacco straight out of little Delaware from the “get go”! I’ve asked repeatedly, how many games/playoffs/Super Bowls would Harbaugh have won with Kyle Boller?! And, I don’t care what your “style points” look like, no rookie before or since has taken his team to within one game of the Super Bowl in his rookie year! It takes a ton of talent to accomplish that! In fact, it can be argued that Flacco’s success has led to more rookie QBs starting rather than holding the proverbial “clipboard” for 3 years! All of which begs the question, how do you effectively and objectively evaluate the head coach? In short, you really…can’t! Just as Billick’s demise is inextricably linked to Kyle Boller, Harbaugh’s success is inextricably linked to Joe Flacco! Time and space doesn’t permit more comparisons and/or evaluations, but changes are NEEDED on this coaching staff in the areas of Special Teams, OC and DC and how Harbaugh handles those needs will shed more light on his ability as a Head Coach. The defensive philosophy MUST change! In the new pass crazy NFL that literally DOES NOT allow much leeway to defend passes, it is IMPERATIVE to pressure the QB…..OFTEN! Without pressure, professional QBs will keep completing passes REGARDLESS of coverage on the back end! One final observation relative to coaching: Bill Belichick is regarded as one of the best in the business, but that assessment FOLLOWED the arrival of Tom Brady…….

  12. -joe d on said:

    The question I have is why does this offense look the same as the one Billick ran. No matter who the head coach, who the coordinator and who the QB the Ravens run the same vanilla, unimaginative offense for the last 15 years. And the defense is starting to look the same as the offense, unimaginative. Dean Pees is certainly not to be confused with Chuck Pagano. Harbs need to jettison Caldwell and Pees and bring in two younger coordinators who can run some new and innovative schemes.

  13. John on said:

    Harb’s isn’t the brightest bulb of NFL coaches. This is his first year without the other true leaders of the team like Ray Lewis and ed Reed, and you see the results ….. not good! So, start with him and work your way down.

  14. purpleneonexpress on said:

    Excellent piece, I hope Biscotti reads it and the comments as well.

    Whoever is hired in the off season should be the best man for the job, not one of Harbie’s friends from his Philly days or one of dads friends. While Flacco gets most of the blame for this season its the coaching staff that is responsible for missing the playoffs, and specifically the coaches on the offensive side of the ball.

    The decision by Harbie, before the season, to remake the offensive line with the help of Castillo doomed this team from the start. The offense never recovered from that boneheaded hire. Harbie can claim Castillo is a great offensive coach but there was zero sign of that greatness this year. Castillo with Harbies permission pretty much destroyed the offensive line before the season even started and with it the hopes of the team to make the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year. Defense did its job for the most part, special teams was good enough to make the playoffs, but Harbies messing with the offensive line doomed this team. The offensive line never recovered.

    And I don’t want to hear about injuries. The Patriots came to M&T with a banged up offensive line manned with backups and they thoroughly outplayed the Ravens healthy defensive line.

    If Mr Biscotti is reading this, please take note of the coaching in the Pat’s game. Harbaughs staff was BADLY out coached by Belichick and Harbaugh blamed the “lack of juice” the players had as a result of playing on the previous Monday night. Harbie made no mention of the fact he and his staff were out classed by the Pats quality coaching staff.

    If I were Ozzie or Biscotti, I would look long and hard at any coaches Harbaugh wants to bring in. His high profile (big bucks) hire of Castillo should be a warning to all that Harbie needs help in selecting the best coaches for the job.

    I’ve never been a John Harbaugh fan and I think the next two years tells the story of his coaching career. I wouldn’t bet against him elevating the team, but I’m not very confident at this point given his failing grade this year.

  15. TRUTH on said:

    Tony, I guess when the Wagon gets bumpy the ride becomes less enjoyable, huh? First you line Terrell Suggs in your sites and now Harbaugh? Hmm, never took you for the naïve type. Consider the turnover rate John Harbaugh has seen in his coaching staff over the years before you write a piece on John Harbaughs inept boys club (not gonna mention those facts, huh). Consider writing an objective column that gives your readers more than just an “unbiased understanding of things” and then you might be able to save some of your credibility…Consider that Steve Bisciotti already has an “outside self scouting crew” in the form of OZZIE NEWSOME and his front office (you know im not sure.. but I think they might know what they’re doing when it comes to this football stuff?). Considered the fact that Harbaugh isn’t opposed to firing his close comrades (Cam Cameron) in the middle of a season if it means that’s what’s best for the team. I get so sick of reading these narrow minded columns about who’s fault it is and this and that about why Baltimore’s always in the dumps and are never good enough, even when we won the Super Bowl is was “tainted with a poorly coached season”. The narrative shouldn’t be about the failures and struggles or lack of success Coach Harbaugh has had over the years but instead about the amount of success he’s had and what he’s been able to accomplish despite the limitations and difficulties he’s encountered over the years. It seems like his staff has been picked off by teams every single year since he’s been here. How many defensive coordinators has he had over the years?? Why exclude facts Tony?? But i guess he gets no credit for the amount stability we’ve been able to keep on that side of the ball consistently throughout the years, huh? He’s had what 3 coaches plucked from HIS STAFF (THAT HE PUT TOGETHER) to become head coaches in that span??? That’s a lot of talent and coaching knowledge removed from our organization yet he keeps on moving forward with success…How many teams rob bellichicks staff every year to become head coaches for other teams?? Do you think he encounters the same turnover rate as Harbaugh? You want Harbaughs Staff to be held accountable and yet you criticize Harbaugh for when he holds his staff accountable. How about when he fired his offensive Coordinator last year because the offense wasnt working and when he let go of the running backs coach because the run game failed miserably and when he fired his line coach the year they sucked donkey crap….how come you’re not crediting harbaugh for “addressing the problem head on” What does he have to do for it be good enough? W Does he have to in 16-0 in the regular season and set a super bowl scoring record every year for what 3,4, 5 years in a row?? Is that what its gonna take before he gets regarded as what he is: AN ELITE COACH. Here’s an idea: why don’t u do some research before you start confusing the “susceptibly minded people” that read ur so called “insightful” view points. Oh and Yeah, doesn’t it suck how John Harbaugh’s supporters will use that dag on pesky Super Bowl trophy to defend his ability coach…those idiots what do they know! :/

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      You want the truth TRUTH? Harbaugh didn’t initiate the firing of Cam Cameron. That came from upstairs.

      Ozzie Newsome doesn’t hire Harbaugh’s coaches…Harbaugh vis-a-vis his contract does that.

      And why shouldn’t we want the coaching staff to be more accountable when they demand it of the players?

      Lastly if you don’t think Suggs is in the crosshairs of the salary cap scope, then maybe I can convince you to be an investor in this start-up pay phone company.

      Did you really read the column? If so you might want to consider a refresher course in reading comprehension at your local community college.

      • TRUTH on said:

        Simmer down bertha. Listen I love your site, I love your columns but not when they take on this pity fan BS tone that sympathizes to the doom-n-gloom fans who don’t realize how good we have it here in Baltimore. Its like everyone is looking for an excuse….Boohoo, im so sorry we have a winning organization year-in and year-out and the one year we go “.500 ” heads have to roll because of it… Sounds so whiney. John Harbaugh is a great coach with many flaws and we both realize that but when you suggest he needs to be held accountable…what are you really implying?? That if he doesn’t shape up he’s out? If he doesn’t fix his poor decisions as a coach he gets put on the chopping block? That’s what it boils down to. Everyone is looking for someone to blame without having any of the actual facts to what went wrong. It’s just annoying. This coach backs our fanbase 100% and here you have every other fan looking to bash Harbaugh whenever they get a chance and look to lay blame on someone because we had an ugly season. If you want to be that kind of fan by all means do what makes your heart happy and whine until all your tampons run out. But im just letting you know it sounds weak. One year after winning a Super Bowl we’re writing columns about holding our head coach accountable? Really? Too many fans have been spoiled by Harbaugh’s success and are quick to forget how fun it was celebrating that Super Bowl parade. So go cry to Cleveland fans about how bad we have it here and watch em laugh at you for being lesser of a fan. Everyone’s always calling the radio stations pouting about harbaugh this and joe flacco that…wah wah wahhhh. We should have a Ravens fan support group so all the “die hard” fans can go hug it out and be there for each other in these hard times..You’re at your best Tony when you’re wearing your purple shades screaming never say die! I love when you bring your optimistic mojo to the table because you’re one of the top writers covering the Ravens. Period. But stop looking for excuses.

        And lets be honest, Terrell Suggs isn’t going anywhere. You said it yourself, “Through 8 games Suggs had 60 combined tackles and 9 sacks. In his DPOY campaign he had 70 combined tackles and 14 sacks during the entire season. And though he wasn’t forcing turnovers like he did in 2011 (7 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions) had he continued at his 2013 first half pace , another DPOY award was definitely a possibility”

        That’s the kind of player that’s in jeapordy of losing his job because of cap numbers nowadays? Nah dude. Haloti Ngata and Elvis Dumerville were hampered by injuries and teams took advantage of it by focusing in on sizzle. Plus like you mentioned he had hi own issues during a crappy losing streak that probably killed his motivation just like it did for what seemed like the entire team. Ozzie’s not stupid and neither are you. So why waste your time fueling the fire with that kind of speculation? I wish I had half your writing skillz. You’re a beast. Thanks for replying :) and keep up the good work you do a really good job here!

        -Anthony

        • Scot K. on said:

          I don’t think anybody in the NFL would cal Harbs a “great” coach. Good yes, great, no. Great coaches don’t have questionable clock management almost every game. Great coaches find a way to WIN close games. Great coaches make adjustments at halftime. Great coaches don’t make odd tactical decisions week in and week out.

  16. purpleneonexpress on said:

    Hah, we see another Harbie fanboy sputtering nonsense in an attempt to cover his hero’s deficiencies.

    I got a bridge to sell to someone if that someone thinks that Harbie fired his buddy Cam because he wanted too. LOL.

    Orders came directly from the Boss, conveyed by Ozzie. Fire Cam or we will fire you.

    Then the whole PR sham put on at the Castle about how this was Harbie’s call (firing his bud) when in fact everyone with half a brain knows it was the owner who had seen enough.

    As I stated earlier…..Harbie’s got two years and if he coaches and hires like he did this year he will be the ex Ravens coach.

  17. Lyon on said:

    Truth, your comments about coordinator turnover really make me laugh. DC turnover? DC turnover did not matter before Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were gone. Look at this year, no DC turnover, a lot of money spent on Def offseason, our Def collapsed whenever it mattered. You want to talk about Belichick’s coordinators? Do you understand that Belichick is a great coach and average coordinators shine under him? Harb is a … coach so his coordinators were hot candidates.

    • TRUTH on said:

      You cant have it both ways. You cant blame Coach Harbaugh for underperforming Coordinators and Assistant Coaches if at the same time you’re not going to give him credit for the ones that have had success.

      People criticize Coach Harbaugh for not holding his coaching staff accountable but the way I see it:

      -He’s fired his Offensvie Coordinator
      -He’s fired his Quarterbacks Coach
      -He kicked Greg Mattison to the curb
      -He’s fired his Running Back’s coach
      -He’s fired his Offensive Line coach
      -He Fired Al Saunders when he was the offensive consultant

      He lost Hue Jackson – Became Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders
      He lost Rex Ryan – Became Head Coach of the New York Jets
      He lost Chuck Pagano – Became Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts

      I mean these coaches aren’t a dime a dozen and 1 coach cant do it all. To Harbaughs credit he’s constantly looking for ways to improve his staff just if it means he gains even the slightest advantage to get better and its evident by the personnel changes he makes every year. Ozzie doesn’t strike gold with every pick he makes and Harbaugh doesnt always strike Gold with some of the additions he makes to his staff. But he’s proactive and is always trying to improve our team in some fashion. How many different starters did we have this year from the prior season?

      Lets see..Gino Gradkowski, AQ Shipley, Eugene Monroe, Marlon Brown, Matt Elam, James Inhedigbo, Daryyl Smith, Chris Canty, Elvis Dummerville, Arthur Brown…That’s a lot of new starters!! Almost 50% from the season before. I mean wtf do you want from this man?

      There’s not one Coach in the NFL that’s perfect and makes the right calls, right decisions, brings in the right staff 100% of the time. Sure Harbaugh screwed up a few key calls this year that cost us games but he was TRYING TO WIN, he was being aggressive and attacking because that’s who he is. If those plays were executed perfectly they would have worked and we would’ve won. But the players didn’t step up when they needed to most and we lost. That’s what this season was about. Remember that infamous play when Bellichick went for it on 4th down against the colts inside his own 20 and didn’t convert? Does that mean he needs to be replaced now?? In that one play did he stop becoming a great coach??

      You know who have the top 3 winning % amongst active coaches in the NFL?

      1. Sean Payton 66%
      2. Bill Bellichick 65%
      3. JOHN HARBAUGH 64.5%
      —————————————
      10. Wade Phillips 56%
      11. John Fox 55%
      12. Pete Carroll 55%
      13. Mike Shannahan 54%
      14. Tom Coughlin 54%
      15. Jack Del Rio 54%
      ———————————
      30. Jim Schwartz 34%
      31. Dan Henning 34%
      32. Romeo Crennel 33%

      Do you think it’s a coincidence that John Harbaugh is in the top 3?

      Which coach out there is going to come in here and do a better Job?? What’s his name and how do you hire him since you know better than everyone else in the Ravens organization? Exactly! So quit you’re crying and get over it. That’s all it is: whines and moans and tears and tampons.

      Boo F—’n Hooo!

      • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

        Actually Jim Harbaugh has a better winning percentage than John.

        And as for the following:

        -He’s fired his Offensvie Coordinator WRONG…that came from the owner
        -He kicked Greg Mattison to the curb WRONG…would never happen…left voluntarily to go to Michigan, closer to family
        -He Fired Al Saunders when he was the offensive consultant WRONG…left with Hue Jackson for Oakland

        • TRUTH on said:

          Don’t be Salty. Be honest, Harbaugh has a major say in everything that happens in this organization, from the lunches served to the players signed, from who we draft to the staff that’s retained and let go. Every single thing that is critical to the football side of how things are run, Harbaugh has a major role in. But the final result of a season does not rest on one man’s shoulders. Only a naive person would believe it stops at Harbaugh. This organization is ran as a team. The major moves are decided as a unit. Of course there are certain voices that carry more weight than others but General Manager, Head Coach, Pat, Eric, Dick, even the owner all come together to help shape this team into being the best its capable of being. If you think Juan Castillo was a Harbaugh only decision you’re just not realistic. And to play devils advocate for a second, when they let go of Cam Cameron and brought in Juan Castillo the line DID play better and the amazing super bowl run happened lol. Now that was clearly more of a coinky dink then anything else but still if people are going to play the 1+1=2 game then everything else can be added with the same measure. (seriously Juan has to go!) Aside from who’s hired and fired, there are also things like “coaches contracts” that get in the way… and for as much flack as Harbaugh gets for Juan Castillo and Steve Spagnualo, Dick Cass and Ozzie Newsome’s names sure do get left out an awful lot. Im just saying you don’t cut a guy a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars if you don’t believe he can contribute to this team in some way that’s beneficial.

          Why don’t you hit up Kevin Byrne from time to time and get his thoughts on some of your views ^_<

  18. elland on said:

    Tony love your site not understanding your hate on this HC.

    The talent on this Ravens roster is overrated. Even last year when we won, the talent was probably better in 2008-11. Drafting in the bottom 1-8, hurts.

    And where is the evidence on this owner firing Cam, personally I am not buying it not at 9-4.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      We certainly appreciate your visits and participation…thank you. But why is it hating if I suggest that the head coach and his staff provide the same level of accountability that he demands of his players?

  19. Anonymous on said:

    Hmm hate was wrong word in this context, sorry TL!

    I do believe our talent is not better than the record, most likely worse. Would I like to see new coordinators, sure.. Do I really believe really believe fixing this would make an huge impact, Not really, every OC would struggle with this kind of play from especially LG and C.

    We really need more from our drafts.

    From 1996-03.. Basically a new PBer every year.
    2004-05 nada
    2006-08 Several PBers
    2009- I am waiting.

  20. Pete on said:

    I just recently discovered the Russell Street Report as a result of my frustration with how the Ravens played this past year. Your article was right on the mark concerning a number of issues that have been bothering me, and it hit almost all of them. As further evidence in support of your comment that “The teams we watched this weekend have passing route combinations that have purpose and are complementary, designed to exploit soft spots in the defensive alignment.”, I noted that a large number of Manning’s passes this past Sunday went to receivers having *no* defender within a yard or two. In contrast, Flacco is often having to make very difficult throws to force his passes into very tight coverage. I think that’s much more on the play design and on the predictability of the plays being called — i.e., on the coaching — than it is on either Joe Flacco or on the Ravens receivers.

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