John Harbaugh Knows How To Rebuild Ravens


When John Harbaugh came to be the head coach in 2008 he was tasked with getting the Baltimore Ravens back on track. The 2007 Ravens went 5-11. The team was riddled with injuries in a year where everything went wrong.

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The 2015 Ravens went 5-11. They had 20 players end up on injured reserve. Nothing went right and once again Harbaugh is asked to turn the Ravens into the winning team they were. John Harbaugh has been in this situation before. This time however, he is not launching a new era of Ravens football, but restoring the one already in progress.

We used to think Brian Billick was the greatest thing since sliced bread. After all, Billick won a Super Bowl two years after taking over the Ravens. Billick took the team to the playoffs four times. 2006 was the best regular season in Ravens history with a 13-3 record and a division championship.

Then 2007 happened and Billick’s tenure as the Ravens head coach was over. Harbaugh took over and launched the golden age of Ravens football. Baltimore enjoyed 5 straight seasons with at least one playoff win, finally winning it all in the fifth try. The Billick era was nice but Harbaugh had simply outshined it.

Just like the 2007 season started with big expectations from a great season the year before, 2015 began with the Ravens in many experts’ Super Bowl picks. The Ravens had just won a playoff game in Pittsburgh for the first time. They pushed the eventual champion Patriots to the brink of elimination. Harbaugh had the Ravens flying high.

Then 2007 happened all over again in 2015. The Ravens season could only be described as a dish gut wrenchingly painful with a side of slow torture.

Star after star went down. Terrell Suggs, Eugene Monroe, Steve Smith Sr., Justin Forsett and even Joe Flacco saw their season ended by injuries. The Ravens lost close games. The wheels fell off and by the time Harbaugh and company put them back on he had a JV version of the Ravens and no hope of the playoffs.

It was the season from hell. The last season the franchise had it ended an era of Ravens football. This season didn’t even end with coordinators being fired, let alone the head coach. In the state of the Ravens press conference, owner Steve Bisciotti told a beleaguered Ravens Nation that he believed in Harbaugh.

It is not hard to see where this confidence comes from. When Harbaugh took the reigns there was a question mark at the quarterback position, and low expectations for his first year. Nobody knew what to expect from a rookie head coach who was a special teams coach in Philidelphia. While Harbaugh had earned respect inside the football world, he was an unknown commodity. Bisciotti took a huge chance to hire him and it paid off.

Now Harbaugh can focus on a Ravens 2016 rebound  with a strong foundation in place. He has a proven record as a head coach. He doesn’t have to win over the locker-room; the players have never waned in their respect of the Ravens coach. Harbaugh can restore the winning tradition of the Ravens. He did it once, now he must do it again.