At the end of the 2018 season, John Harbaugh’s name and the phrase hot seat were frequently mentioned together. There were even false reports that the Ravens and Harbaugh were agreeing to mutually part ways at the end of the 2018 season.
Ravens and John Harbaugh headed to parting of the ways. But no in-season firing being mulled https://t.co/tzxGenSJYE
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 11, 2018
The standard in Baltimore is high and that starts with Steve Bisciotti and the entire front office. Of course, the Ravens aren’t expected to win the Super Bowl every year but at least making it to the playoffs regularly is.
While it’s not just John Harbaugh a large amount of credit must go to the entire front office mainly Eric DeCosta and Ozzie Newsome. They were the ones that have assembled this cast of what looks to be filled with Pro Bowl players on both sides of the ball. We have frequently heard Bisciotti, DeCosta, and Harbaugh all talk about the importance of continuity. While the head coach and front office have enjoyed continuity an NFL team doesn’t have that luxury due to salary cap restraints, aging players, etc.
“The long shot has always been John Harbaugh coaching the Ravens Week 1 2019. I would be shocked if John Harbaugh would be back. I said as much before the season, because I thought they were going to go 8-8 like they always do. ~ Jason LaCanfora, November 7, 2018
The Ravens finished 10-6 and John Harbaugh received a four-year extension.
In 2018, the Ravens took a big risk when they made a big philosophical change in how their offense would operate. Everyone had to be on board or how could they expect it to work? John Harbaugh bought in and then some. Of course, Greg Roman deserves a ton of credit but he’s a part of Harbaugh’s staff. He put the team above his relationship with Marty Mornhinweg recognizing that Roman was the man for the job.
John Harbaugh has enjoyed plenty of success in Baltimore as the head coach but this year is much different. In 2012 the Ravens won the Super Bowl but in 2011 lost an extremely close game to the Patriots in the AFC championship game. In 2012 the Ravens were expected to come back strong and at least be a legitimate contender. This year was Lamar Jackson‘s first year as the starter and the system was specifically built for him along with the cast around him. Harbaugh said before the season “this offense is going to revolutionize the NFL”.
Was he right?
I’d say so.
No matter how the season ends we have never seen the Ravens offense ever look this dominant. The defense has also made significant strides and is playing like a top defense as of late. Wink Martindale has dealt with the losses of key players in the offseason and was forced to integrate street free agents into his scheme throughout the season.
The Ravens have had more dominant defenses in years past but to suffer the losses they did and make such a quick turnaround in-season has been remarkable. While Martindale gets the largest part of that credit he is still under the philosophical guidance of Harbaugh. This may be the first year the Ravens have an offensive MVP and coach of the year.
It’s unlikely that Harbaugh would accept credit. Much like his quarterback he would say “the team, the team, the team”.
Enjoy Ravens fans!
We are witnessing something never before seen in Baltimore or the NFL for that matter.
But make no mistake about it, the guiding light of this “revolution” is the 2019 Coach of the Year, John Harbaugh.