The Baltimore Ravens announced they’ve re-signed Greg Roman and hired James Urban as the team’s quarterback coach.
After John Harbaugh’s season-ending press conference that left many of the Baltimore Ravens fan base confused and frustrated, the team made two moves today that could bring back some positivity.
In a series of about three hours, the Ravens officially announced the re-signing of tight-end coach and offensive assistant Greg Roman, along with hiring Bengals’ James Urban as the team’s quarterbacks coach.
With Roman’s contract expiring heading into the new season, he was rumored as a candidate to join Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff at Michigan. The Ravens made sure one of their top offensive coaches wasn’t going anywhere and locked Roman up. Along with the new contract, Roman was given an assistant coach designation. Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec was unsure of how much more power the new title will give Roman, but it shows the team’s increased trust in him nonetheless and for good reason.
The Ravens had a subpar ground game in 2016 but that changed this season with the addition of Roman to the coaching staff. The Ravens went from averaging just 91.4 rushing yards per game in 2016 to 116 in 2017. The addition of Alex Collins deserves credit but the commitment to the ground game was much more noticeable this season. Until the Ravens can prove they can rely on the aerial attack, the ground game will be the primary offensive weapon going forward.
With Marty Mornhinweg returning as offensive coordinator for another season, the Ravens signed James Urban to work primarily with Joe Flacco. Previously, Mornhinweg acted in both roles but will now focus solely on the offense. Urban spent the last seven seasons as the Bengals wide receiver coach, working with one of the leagues’ most talented players at the position in A.J. Green. Urban coached alongside Harbaugh and Mornhinweg in Philadelphia so the familiarity is there. It makes sense why Urban was the team’s top candidate for the position, given how the Ravens have a track record of either promoting in-house or bringing in coaches with previous ties to the team.
There’s still plenty of time in the offseason but I like both of these moves. Keeping Roman is huge and he’ll only continue to improve the run game. If things go south with Mornhinweg, Roman could be the next man up if the Ravens chance coordinators mid-season, like they’ve been known to do. I also like the idea of Flacco working with Urban. While his mechanics won’t be fixed at this point in Flacco’s career, a new offensive mind surely doesn’t hurt.