OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he would retain all of his coordinators, including offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who many thought would be replaced.
The decision to keep Mornhinweg will leave Harbaugh open to second guessing, after an 8-8 season in which the offense struggled for consistency. But Harbugh insisted at his season-ending press conference that he believed in Mornhinweg, who took over when Marc Trestman was fired after five games.
Harbugh also insisted the offense would become more balanced next year, after a season in which Drew Brees of the Saints was the only quarterback to attempt more passes than Joe Flacco.
“Marty believes in running the football and I believe in running the football,” Harbaugh said. “We have not the run the football well enough, or enough. And that has to change.”
But one of the changes will not be a new offensive coordinator. That may not be a popular decision with the Ravens’ fan base, which watched the team fail to make the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.
However, Harbaugh said it was his decision to keep Morningweg, after frequent discussions with general manager Ozzie Newsome and owner Steve Bisciotti.
“I’m making those decisions,” said Harbaugh, in regard to his coaching staff. “Ozzie and Steve Bisciotti have given me that responsibility. That’s my job. Those decisions are taken very seriously. In my heart, in my gut, and in my headset, this is the best way to go.”
MORE RAVENS: Kamar Aiken sounds very ready for free agency
Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.
1. The Ravens are hopeful Earl Thomas will be a leader for their new defense which Thomas called "very complex." "This defense is very complex compared to what we were doing in Seattle,” Thomas said to Ravens media. “We were just playing Cover-3 all the time. Now, we’re making calls on the fly. That’s the biggest adjustment for me.”
Additionally, Thomas told media members after practice that he's made "fast friends" with quarterback Lamar Jackson. "He's a very funny guy, I don't know if you all know that," Thomas said.
2. Speaking of Lamar Jackson, he reportedly had his best day of practice so far this offseason according to Ravens media. Jackson's throws looked much better and he was quick in the pocket.
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.
Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.
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Like most athletes, Robert Griffin III was empathetic towards Kevin Durant when he first went down, taking to Twitter on Monday night to voice his concern.
Today, the Ravens' veteran quarterback told ESPN's The Undefeated that he's all too familiar with Durant's decision to play and subsequent injury. RG3 likened it to his own brief playoff stint in 2013. Just four weeks removed from an injury to a knee that required reconstructive surgery in college, RG3 started – only to get hit late in the fourth and watch both his season and career come to a screeching halt.
But that's not how RG3 views it.
"I was looking at it like I'm out for here for my brothers. I'm out here for my team. And that was the only place I wasnted to be."
And Griffin doesn't believe he's alone in that thought process, suggesting it was KD's mindset ahead of Game 5 as well.
"Most of us are built to fight. So whenever we get a situation where we’re a little injured or a little banged-up, our first reaction isn’t to get out of there and rest. Our first reaction is to figure out how we can keep going. That’s what makes a guy like Kevin Durant great."
It remains to be seen whether KD's recovery will be smoother than RG3's. The former Heisman Trophy winner never came close to matching his breakout rookie season, eventually losing his starting job in Washington in 2014.
Durant will miss all of next season, meaning the former Montrose Christian star's next NBA appearance would be as a 32 year-old.