At his season-ending news conference Tuesday, Harbaugh backed Marty Mornhinweg and said the much-maligned offensive coordinator will return in his current role next season. Harbaugh also said that defensive coordinator Dean Pees and associate head coach and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg will be back as well.
“Marty doesn't need validation from me,” Harbaugh said in a news conference at the team facility that lasted approximately 45 minutes. “I don't need to stand up here and say Marty is a good football coach. He's proven that.
“You could go a different way and you could justify or argue or make a case for any kind of direction, but in the end, I have to balance all of that out and say, ‘My heart and my head and my gut say that this is the best way to go,’ and that’s what we’ve decided to do."
Harbaugh, who has had five offensive coordinators in the past five seasons, acknowledged that he wants some continuity on offense, but the biggest factor in his surprising decision to retain Mornhinweg was that both he and the players believe in him.
Mornhinweg was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator when Marc Trestman was fired on Oct. 10. The change did little to resuscitate a struggling offense, or drastically improve the play of Flacco, who had one of the worst seasons of his career.
The Ravens’ offense finished 17th in the NFL in yards per game (347.7) and 21st in points per game (21.4) despite passing the ball a league-leading 679 times. Only New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw the ball more than Flacco did this year.
“Marty believes in running the football, and I believe in running the football, and we have not run the football well enough or enough really for the last two years, and that has to change,” Harbaugh said. “I think it goes hand in hand: being good at it and doing it a lot more than we do it.”
Harbaugh called helping Flacco regain the form that he showed in leading the Ravens to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 regular season as “job one.” He said the Ravens are looking to add a quarterbacks coach to work directly with Flacco and help improve the veteran’s fundamentals, which have fallen off in recent years.
He said that he met with Flacco yesterday and spoke to him at length about what needs to happen going forward. Harbaugh mentioned a slew of things, from adding another running back and wide receiver to better offensive line play to adding a couple of coaches who will help with the team’s schemes.
As far as making changes with the coordinators though, Harbaugh maintains that won’t be happening.
“We’re going to try to improve everywhere including coaching. And we will stay intact,” he said. “I’m excited about going forward with our coordinators, all three of those guys. I’m looking forward to that. So there’s not going to be a change there.
"As far as the other coaching positions, guys have opportunities, guys have goals and ambitions and stuff like that, and when you go through the ranks with different guys, everyone’s in a different place. So I think there’s always going to be change on your staff, and we’re going to look to try to bring in some infusion of ideas, talent, coaching ability that can make us great.”