Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh And Staff On Last Strings
Going into the 2017 season, the expectations for the Baltimore Ravens are at an all time high.
The 2017 NFL season is going to be very telling for the Baltimore Ravens. A franchise built on winning has slumped the past two seasons. Some fans are not happy with decisions being made and want change immediately. Others are staying calm and seeing how things play out this season.
The Ravens have tried to fix the problem by making changes with coordinators and other coaching personnel, but the pressure is now starting to mount on the head coach. John Harbaugh has a fantastic career here in Baltimore. He has been to the playoffs numerous times and won a Super Bowl, but no season is going to mean more than this upcoming one. Like it or not, John Harbaugh and his staff are on their last strings.
A fantastic start has tailed off
The Ravens needed a change in 2008. Brian Billick’s time was done and the team needed a fresh start. John Harbaugh was hired and immediately began to turn things around in his first year. The team drafted a rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco and a rookie running back in Ray Rice. The two rookies along with a stout defense rode the Ravens all the way to the AFC Championship, before losing to the Steelers. The following seasons saw the same success. In his first seven years as head coach, the Ravens made the playoffs six times. In 2012, a Super Bowl was brought back to Baltimore.
When the Ravens lost to the Patriots in the 2014 divisional round, there was optimism going forward. Joe Flacco had come off of a career season and the offense looked as dominate as ever. But as we have seen in the past two seasons, there has been frustration. The team have finished 5-11 and 8-8. These are not records that Ravens fans are used to seeing. Unfortunately for John Harbaugh, his previous success has set winning expectations. A couple of bad seasons start to make people start questioning your ability, even if it is not all your fault.
To be fair to Harbaugh, it definitely is not all his fault. The 2015 season was a special case. There were 22 players placed on injured reserve including the starting quarterback and starting running back. A coach can only do so much in that situation. The team struggled as a whole and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
Live or die by the loyalty
There is no doubt that Steve Bisciotti wants to win. He expresses that by how he talks to the media and the organization that he has put together. Bisciotti got to where he was by grinding and putting in the hard work. His style of ownership is one where he gives the front office and head coach freedom to make decisions. He trusts the men he has selected for the positions and believes that they will do what is best for the team. In the ‘State of the Ravens’ press conference, Bisciotti stood by his decisions and expressed that firing coaches year after year is not a good business model.
Next: Ravens Round Table: The One Thing We Want To See Change
After last season, John Harbaugh decided to bring back all three of his coordinators. This move was an unpopular one among the fans. Many thought that there should have been a change on the offensive or defensive end of the ball. But going into this season, John Harbaugh and his staff are under more pressure than they have ever been. Three straight seasons missing the playoffs would not sit well. His decision to stick with his staff makes sense, but he they either stay afloat together or go down with the ship.