For the second straight offseason, head coach John Harbaugh has decided to retain much-maligned offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg despite mounting criticism about the direction of the Ravens offense.
The news comes after the Ravens lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in their regular-season finale and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season, prompting an impatient fan base to call for widespread change. Harbaugh, however, believes the offense made significant strides under Mornhinweg over the second half of the 2017 season.
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Mornhinweg was under a lot of scrutiny at the beginning of the season due to Baltimore’s putrid offensive performances. The offense struggled to pick up first-downs and consisted of mostly check-downs from quarterback Joe Flacco.
However, after the bye week, the unit seemingly hit their stride. They turned into one of the hottest offensive units in the league, in terms of scoring. Joe Flacco turned the corner and began to throw the ball deep, while Alex Collins and Javorius Allen (Buck) continued to make plays.
Mornhinweg’s unit finished 27th overall, in terms of total offense. While, they ended the season with the 29th ranked passing-attack and the 11th ranked rushing-attack. Not to mention, they were ninth in points per game, as they averaged 24.7. In addition, this unit only had 17 giveaways, which has them tied for seventh best in the league.
With Marty Mornhinweg returning, continuity again will be the key word for this upcoming offseason. Obviously, the only big change will be at defensive coordinator since Dean Pees retired.
Flacco, who had to adjust to a revolving door of play-callers, had a good rapport with Mornhinweg. Harbaugh also trusted Mornhinweg was on board with having a much more balanced and physical offense. The Ravens, helped by the addition of senior offensive assistant and tight ends coach Greg Roman — who was instrumental in the design and planning of the run game — were more productive on the ground this season.