John Harbaugh is officially starting a new era with the Baltimore Ravens.
The team announced Thursday that they had reached a new four-year contract with Harbaugh, keeping him in Baltimore until 2022.
The franchises' third head coach in 23 years, surrounded by media and employees of the Ravens organization, Harbaugh opened Friday's press conference with a bible verse and expressed his appreciation for his family, owner Steve Bisciotti, his players and everyone in between.
"It's just been a joy to be a Raven and to see that continue," Harbaugh said. "I guess I just can't express enough how great I feel about it. It's an honor, and a privilege, to coach the Baltimore Ravens."
Since becoming their leader in 2008, Harbaugh and the Ravens have reached the postseason seven times and brought the Lombardi Trophy back to Baltimore during the 2012-'13 season. Harbaugh has the fourth-longest tenure among current head coaches and his 10 playoff wins are tied for third-most by any head coach since the 1970s merger.
What separates Harbaugh from others around him is the stability he's been able to provide in a league where that is rare.
"It's also the nature of kind of what we do," Harbaugh added. "I was told in this league, three years is a career and 10 years is a lifetime. And I think that's true because every year is a new year. You start every year from the ground up and begin to build something new every single year."
Entering the bye week on a three-game losing streak, questions about job security began arising around Harbaugh after missing the postseason three years in a row. Then, first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson replaced Joe Flacco and not only turned the Ravens' season around but possibly helped save Harbaugh's job.
But Jackson is just the start of why this go-round will be different for the 56-year-old.
Upon becoming the head coach in 2008, general manager Ozzie Newsome also drafted the team's future franchise quarterback in Flacco. Now looking ahead to the 2019 season, Flacco will likely be elsewhere and Newsome will hand the reins over to Eric DeCosta. Harbaugh remains the one constant for Baltimore.
"There's always going to be change. There's always going to be renewal," Harbaugh said. "We'll be a different team than we were last year. We'll be a different team than we've ever been here before because of a lot of the changes...but there's a lot of new pieces in place and I'm excited about it."
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