The Ravens hope that keeping their coaching staff almost entirely intact pays dividends next season.
Marc Trestman will be back for his second season as offensive coordinator, while Dean Pees returns for his fifth season as defensive coordinator. Other than linebackers coach Ted Monachino leaving to become the Colts’ defensive coordinator, the Ravens’ coaching staff should remain virtually untouched this offseason.
Some expected more change after a 5-11 season, but head coach John Harbaugh liked the way his staff handled adversity.
“We still have plenty of work to do, but I trust Dean,” Harbaugh said at the “State of the Ravens’ press conference. “I know he is a very good coach. All those guys – I know they are good coaches. (When) you work side by side with a bunch of guys through a season like this, you find out what they are made of. And I like our guys.”
Despite injuries, Pees’ defense played far better in the second half of the season than it did in September and October. Finding a way to start next season with a more consistent defense will be at the top of Pees’ to-do list.
As for Trestman, much of the focus will be on improving the Ravens’ running game. The Ravens’ had an all-time franchise low in rushing attempts in 2015, and lost their identity as a physical offense. The Ravens went through a period of changing offensive coordinators every year, from Cam Cameron to Jim Caldwell late in 2012, to Gary Kubiak in 2014, to Trestman in 2015. Bringing Trestman back gives him another season to tweak the Ravens' running attack, working with Harbaugh.
“Yes, I feel like we need to run the ball more, but we need to run the ball better,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to find our way back that way.”
Plenty of NFL offseason coaching turmoil is yet to be sorted out. The Browns, Eagles, 49ers, Giants, and Titans were all still looking for head coaches as of Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the Lions had not made a decision on whether Caldwell would stay as head coach.
However, the Ravens’ coaching staff will look almost the same. The challenge is to get better results.