John Harbaugh has been an amazing coach for the Baltimore Ravens, but could he be in the hot seat next season? Coaches in the NFL get fired all the time, and sometimes it’s not even the coaches fault for a team’s lack of success. After a 5-11 season, John could be in the hot seat this upcoming season, and that could change the shape of the franchise forever.
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When John Harbaugh become the coach of the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 nobody knew he would have this much success. Harbaugh was gifted a great rookie quarterback to help start his head coaching career. In his first year as head coach in Baltimore, John had the team finish with an 11-5 record, and a trip to the AFC championship game. In 2009, the Ravens finished 9-7, and won a playoff game. In both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the Ravens finished with a record of 12-4, and won a playoff game in each. In 2012, the Ravens got to host a Divisional Round game at home against the Houston Texans. The Ravens went on to lose in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. We all know what happened in that game.
One thing Harbaugh has always taught his players and staff, is how to bounce back. John and the Ravens did just that the very next season. In 2012, the Ravens went on to win Super Bowl 47 against John’s brother Jim Harbaugh, and his San Francisco 49ers. En route to the Super Bowl, the Ravens had to return to New England for an AFC Championship rematch against the Patriots. The script was flipped, and the Ravens came out on top. Harbaugh got his entire to believe that they were a team of destiny. He was right.
In January, Harbaugh sat down with Orioles Manager Buck Showalter, at the Finding Your Path Leadership conference. Harbaugh had this to say about believing:
"“My dad always talked about something I thought was really big. He just said basically anybody that’s ever done anything, anybody that’s ever accomplished one thing, ever, had somebody somewhere along the way that believed in them and told them they believed in them.”"
Harbaugh uses this as his coaching mantra. John is always telling his players he believes in them, and that as long as they believe in each other they can accomplish anything. That’s what helped them overcome the odds in Denver and New England, and granted them the title of World Champions.
However, after 5 straight years of success, the Ravens declined after winning the Super Bowl. The Ravens finished 8-8 in 2013, in a season filled with ups and downs. They missed the playoffs, and Harbaugh had to look forward to rebounding next season. In 2014, the Ravens finished 10-6, and beat their rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round. The Ravens then found themselves in familiar territory, New England. The Ravens blew two 14 point leads in the Divisional Round to the Patriots. However the future looked bright for Baltimore.
But in sports, things aren’t always as they seem.
The Ravens went into 2015 projected to be one of the best teams in the league. They never reached this level of expectation. The Ravens finished with an abysmal record of 5-11. They struggled to maintain consistency all season long. They blew games late, and couldn’t stop opposing teams for the first half of the season. On top of all that, the Ravens had to deal with a long list of injuries. Seriously, they could fill an entire fantasy football roster with all the injuries, and have that fantasy team look as good as any other. Key players like Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Justin Forsett, and many others plagued the Ravens.
During the final press conference of the season, Harbaugh had this to say about the losing season.
"“You’re gonna face struggles and trials and things don’t always play out the way you want them to.”“You’re gonna face struggles and trials and things don’t always play out the way you want them to.”"
Harbaugh was also given credit after this years Super Bowl, after showing Gary Kubiak that it’s not always about the Xs and Os, but the moral of the team.
Now let’s get to the question at hand here. Is John Harbaugh on the hot seat this season? The answer is no, absolutely not. The Ravens have only had 3 head coaches in team history, one of them, Brian Billick, started and finished his head coaching career with the Baltimore Ravens. I see Harbaugh doing the same thing Billick did. Harbaugh is 3 wins away from tying Billick’s head coaching record of most wins (80). Harbaugh has also doubled Billick in playoff wins, with 10 of his own. Despite having coached one less season that Billick, Harbuagh has a better win percentage (.602).
John Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere any time soon. He’s loved by the organization, the team, and all of Baltimore. He’s going to be our coach for a long time.