Ravens OC Greg Roman under heavy scrutiny heading into end of season

Ravens, Greg Roman (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Greg Roman (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

This season, Baltimore Ravens fans are angrier than ever before, and they’re directing all their frustration at one coach in particular: offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Roman has been at the center of controversy in recent history for his questionable play-calling, and his shortcoming as a coach were recently amplified in the Ravens’ Week 15 loss to the Browns.

The Ravens were running the ball well through three quarters when all of a sudden, Roman started calling only passing plays in the final quarter. Down two scores in the fourth, the play-clock factored in as a key reason why Baltimore may have favored throwing the ball in the air, yet the Ravens’ wide receivers weren’t getting many yards after the catch, and quick three-and-outs wouldn’t win the game for Baltimore either.

In any case, Roman was singled out for his offensive tactics to the extent that outside linebacker Tyus Bowser posted a now-deleted video that appeared to call for Roman’s firing.

Head coach John Harbaugh continues to have Roman’s back; NFL pundits, however, do not.

CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr was quick to criticize Roman after Week 15:

"Greg Roman is likely in his final games as offensive coordinator: The Ravens offense was anemic Saturday, putting up just three points and 324 yards of offense in the loss to the Browns.The Ravens can run the ball, but the only real explosive play was a J.K. Dobbins 37-yard run in which he was surprisingly caught from behind. This offense needs Jackson back to save face, but Roman probably shouldn’t be back in 2023 regardless."

Ravens’ Greg Roman is running out of time to fix things in Baltimore

With Lamar Jackson out due to injury and given Tyler Huntley’s limited passing abilities, there was little value in turning to a pass-heavy approach in the most decisive moments of the Browns game.

Even before Devin Duvernay’s injury, the Ravens were struggling to move the ball down the field and their top pass-catcher, Mark Andrews, hasn’t been seeing much success in the air.

It’s unfair to pin all the blame on Roman since Baltimore’s unproven and underperforming wide receiver unit is hardly impressive 15 weeks through the season and Jackson has been injured for the last two weeks, yet Roman hasn’t given the fanbase much to cheer for on the offensive side of the ball.

Roman addressed some of the criticism in retrospect:

"The first thing you’re told when you get into this profession is, ‘Don’t listen to any of the noise.’ That’s what everybody’s told everywhere, and if you’re an offensive coordinator and you don’t think that’s going to happen in the NFL, it comes with the job."

The Ravens lost defensive coordinator Wink Martindale after the 2021 season and could be in line for more changes next offseason if the team doesn’t see any improvements. At 9-5 and second in the AFC North, Baltimore has a fairly good shot to make the playoffs, but a deep postseason run doesn’t seem to be in the cards unless Lamar Jackson returns to full health and MVP-caliber form.

Next. What to expect from Sammy Watkins in his Ravens return. dark

After Week 15, Roman is on the hot seat for the next three games — let’s see if he can turn the Ravens’ offense around in the most pivotal stretch of the season.