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3 reasons why John Harbaugh kept Marty Mornhinweg, whether you agree or not

3 reasons why John Harbaugh kept Marty Mornhinweg, whether you agree or not

As soon as coach John Harbaugh announced he was retaining offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the majority of Ravens fans on social media reacted negatively. However, Harbaugh isn’t worried about public perception. He’s worried about getting back to the playoffs.

Here are three factors that played into Harbaugh making the decision.

1. Joe Flacco communicates well with Mornhinweg and likes working with him.

It’s all about getting the most out of the veteran quarterback. With Flacco’s huge contract, he’s not going anywhere, and the Ravens expect him to play better than he has the last two years.

The Ravens need the 2014 version of Flacco when Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator. That season, Flacco had a career-high 27 touchdown passes and the second-highest QB rating of his career and led the Ravens to the second round of the playoffs. Flacco believes he can succeed with Mornhinweg if they are given more time working together. If he’s right, keeping Mornhinweg will look like a smart move. If Flacco is wrong, they’ll be plenty of changes after next season.

RELATED: Getting Joe Flacco help is Ravens' top priority

2. Harbaugh believes a dramatic change offensively could set the Ravens back.

If Kubiak or Kyle Shanahan wanted the job, Harbaugh may have jumped at either. However, neither Kubiak (retired for now) nor Shanahan (Falcons offensive coordinator and hot head coaching candidate) is available.

Three names that people often brought up to replace Mornhinweg were former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, former Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman and former Vikin0g0s coordinator Norv Turner. However, their offensive approaches are different than the West Coast offense the Ravens have run since Kubiak arrived in 2014. Bringing in an offensive coordinator from the college ranks would have been an even more drastic change. The Ravens aren’t interested in having Flacco take the first half of 2017 trying to master an entirely new offense. They want him to hit the ground running from Day 1 of minicamp.

“Marty has been running this offense since the late 80s,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a system I’m familiar with. It’s the basic system they’re running in Kansas City right now, and it’s a good system for us.”

3. Harbaugh has sent a strong message to Mornhinweg to be more committed to the running game.

If the Ravens don’t run more often in 2017, they don’t deserve success. Since the start of 2013, the Ravens are 31-33 during the regular season, but they are 17-6 when Flacco has thrown fewer than 35 times, including 3-0 in 2016. A reluctance to call running plays helped cost Marc Trestman his job as offensive coordinator, but the run-pass ratio didn’t change dramatically after Mornhinweg took over in Week 6.

The formula for success with Flacco has been proven — support him with a running game, keep him clean in the pocket, use play-action passes and take shots downfield to take advantage of his arm strength. Like it or not, Mornhinweg will be given one more chance to help make that formula work.

MORE RAVENS: Can Breshad Perriman be a No. 1 wide receiver?

AROUND THE NFL: Check out CSN's 2017 Mock Draft 1.0

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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