The Baltimore Ravens are sticking with Marty Mornhinweg.
Coach John Harbaugh confirmed Tuesday that he will keep the team’s offensive coordinator in-house for another season, along with defensive play-caller Dean Pees and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.
Retaining the latter two come as no surprise, but Mornhinweg was expected to be ushered out after replacing the fired Marc Trestman in October.
Heading into Week 17, ex-Niners and Bills play-caller Greg Roman was whispered about as a candidate to take over Baltimore’s offense, but Harbaugh is opting for consistency over what would have been the team’s sixth coordinator since 2012 had someone else jumped in.
Mornhinweg hardly fixed the team’s issues on offense — they finished 21st in scoring — but the Ravens showed better balance over the final few weeks of the season with rushing outputs of 151 and 122 yards in Week 15 and 16, respectively. A full offseason could lead to more of that from the promising duo of Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon.
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“You saw over the weekend what happens to teams when the No. 1 quarterback gets hurt,” Newsome said last week, via the team’s official website, “and you are trying to win a playoff game.”
Newsome was, of course, referencing the inability of the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders to reach 15 points with second- and third-string quarterbacks, respectively, in Wild Card Weekend defeats.
“You have to have two quality quarterbacks in this league to be successful year-in and year-out,” Newsome added. “We realize that Joe is one play away from being injured. We have seen that.”
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The most attractive veteran quarterbacks likely to be available such as Tony Romo, Tyrod Taylor and perhaps even Jimmy Garoppolo will be too expensive in terms of salary-cap space or trade compensation.
It makes more sense for Newsome to go the draft-pick route after watching Garoppolo and Dak Prescott exceed expectations as stand-ins for the face of the franchise.
Flacco set a franchise record for passing yards in a season with 4,317 — the first time he’d broken 4,000 in his nine-year career. Yet he was woefully inconsistent while attempting a career-high 672 passes — 58 more than his previous high in 2013.
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The Ravens attempted to run a Jim Bob Cooter-style quick pass offense this season, rarely leaning on the run game and limiting the shots taken downfield. Flacco’s inconsistent accuracy — which his owner attributes at least in part to the lingering knee issues — killed that attacking style.
The game plan was questionable without any knee issue. Flacco’s best asset is his deep ball. And it’s not like the Ravens’ run game was uncompromisingly woeful when given a chance. Baltimore averaged just 22.9 rush attempts per game, ranking 30th, while averaging 4.0 yards per carry, ranking 20th.
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The offensive inconsistencies led many to believe offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could be fired. Coach John Harbaugh decided to keep him, although Baltimore did add Greg Roman as senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach.
Bisciotti believes a full offseason of work will lead to a more consistent Flacco and help Baltimore back to the playoffs after missing the past two years.
“I’m pretty optimistic that Joe is going to be better next year than he was,” Bisciotti said. “That, to me, is the biggie on the offensive side of the ball.”