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Harbaugh calls play that didn't work "All-time worst call ever"

Harbaugh calls play that didn't work "All-time worst call ever"

BALTIMORE – Ravens coach John Harbaugh did not hold back, when asked what he thought of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s play call that led to Joe Flacco’s fourth-quarter interception Sunday.

“All-time worst call ever,” said Harbaugh, after the Ravens barely held on to beat the Eagles, 27-26. “I’ll take responsibility for it. I should have vetoed it right away. I like an aggressive mindset, but that was way too aggressive. It’s the worst play call we’ve had, and it’s my fault. “

Harbaugh took the blame, but Mornhinweg made the call. And the sudden change in momentum almost cost the Ravens the game.

The Ravens were leading, 27-17, and had first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 11, with just 6:17 left to play. They could have easily called three running plays, burned a couple of minutes off the clock, and at worst kicked a field goal. Instead, they passed. It became a disastrous play, when Joe Flacco didn’t see Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, who made an easy interception.

No touchdown. No field goal. And the Eagles had life. They roared back for a field goal, then a touchdown, and only an Eagles failed two-point conversion with four seconds to play kept the Ravens from suffering a crushing defeat.

Not everyone in the Ravens locker room was ready to bash the play. Flacco said he loved Mornhinweg’s aggressive mindset in that situation.

“To be honest with you, my thought was, ‘Shoot, Marty is going to give me a third touchdown pass on the day,’’’ Flacco said. “I was kind of happy about it at that point, I mean, being selfish, but  you’ve got to just take care of the football and it’s a non-issue.’’

But once Flacco threw the interception, it became a major issue. And since Mornhinweg only became offensive coordinator in Week 6, after Marc Trestman was fired, it raised even more speculation as to whether Mornhinweg would return next season.

After the game, the Ravens were simply relieved to win. Nobody may have been more relieved than Mornhinweg.   

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The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

While the Ravens roster will likely remain mostly together for the 2020 regular season, it appears the coaching staff will stay entirely intact, too. 

After both coordinators, Greg Roman and Don “Wink” Martindale, had interviews with the Browns and Giants, respectively, those jobs were filled by Kevin Stefanski and Joe Judge. 

And more recently, quarterbacks coach James Urban and tight ends coach Bobby Engram were requested for interviews by the Eagles. Harbaugh said both Engram and Urban pulled out of the running and weren’t interested.

“It looks like our staff is going to stay together,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I can tell you that. I’m not saying anything couldn’t happen; there are always things brewing for a certain period of time.”

The Ravens have every offensive starter from the divisional playoff game under contract for next season, and now appear to have the offensive coordinator and all of the position coaches back on-board for another run too. The Ravens set a franchise record with 531 points, led by Lamar Jackson.

Things are still fluid, as a job opportunity for anyone on the staff can pop up out of the blue. But for now, the Ravens look like they’ll run the entire operation back for another go at a Super Bowl.

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John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

Coach John Harbaugh, just six days after his team’s disappointing 28-12 loss to the Titans in the AFC playoffs, has already had to defend his quarterback.

Faced with some criticism after Jackson finished 31-of-59 passing, and three total turnovers, Harbaugh mentioned how far Jackson has come in the last year — which also ended in an early playoff loss at home.

“It’s really interesting to look at Lamar Jackson, because look at the progress he made in the last year,” Harbaugh said Friday. “Because the same question, I think you might have asked it last year, how is he going to get better going forward? And he did a good job, right? He’s 23 years old. He’s younger than Joe Burrow. So, he has a pretty good head start right now.”

Jackson is now 0-2 in the playoffs with a 19-3 regular season record. 



He’s likely the MVP this season after he passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards, setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback along the way. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns and carried the most prolific offense in the league to a league-best 14-2. 

Harbaugh isn’t worried that his quarterback, who is just 23-years-old, hasn’t found his playoff success yet.

“The Manning brothers combined to, they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one,” Harbaugh explained. (Joe) Montana, (Steve) Young and (Brett) Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season, (Drew) Brees and (Troy) Aikman, until their fourth season, and (Aaron) Rodgers until his fifth season.”

After the season ended, Harbaugh added that Jackson went to his office to discuss the offseason and what he needed to do to improve. 

While Harbaugh and the offensive coaching staff had a plan for Jackson to improve, Jackson “nailed” each and every single critique that the coaches had laid out for him.

“I’m really confident in Lamar and his understanding the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player,” Harbaugh said.

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