Ravens: Is John Harbaugh on the Hot Seat
Is John Harbaugh On The Hot Seat After a 5-11 season?
On January 19, 2008, the Ravens selected John Harbaugh as the replacement for Brian Billick who was fired after a disappointing 5-11 season in 2007. Harbaugh led the Ravens to the playoff in each of his first five seasons including a victory in Super Bowl XLVII over the team his brother Jim coached, the 49ers.
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In all, the Ravens advanced to the playoffs in six of his eight seasons as head coach. Coach Harbaugh’s winning percentage remains over 60%, and the team ripped off 10 playoff wins during his tenure. Joe Flacco set the NFL record for the most road playoff victories in history.
However, this is the NFL, and winning is at a premium. The days of giving a coach six years to figure it out left us around the times the AFL still existed. Today’s NFL eliminates the coaching run that Tom Landry eventually created. The leash that coaches were given to build a team is now used to hang them early in their run.
Under these conditions, Harbaugh’s chance of retaining his job greatly decrease with another poor year. Missing the playoffs would make three of the last four years. Not helping matters, long tenured General Manager Ozzie Newsome failed to over achieve during the past few drafts which gives Harbaugh a less talented and more aged roster that has quality starters but lacks depth.
John Harbaugh’s run with the Ravens is one of the best coaching stints in recent years, but no job is safe in the NFL if your team fails to put up double-digit wins each season.
Remember, this is a league Marty Schottenheimer was fired from after a 14-2 season. Chan Gailey coached the Dallas Cowboys for two seasons, reaching the playoffs each year, but Gailey was fired after losing in the first round of the playoffs each season.
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Job security should not be a concern for John Harbaugh, but in his profession, the only success that matters is recent success. Without that, no coaches job is safe.