In the film “A Fish Called Wanda,” a character played by Kevin Kline warns others, “Don’t call me stupid.” Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has a similar aversion to the word “conservative” when applied to his unit.
“I hate that word,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “I don’t get called that very often. It just bothers me.”
But Mornhinweg did not dispute the adjective being linked to the offense’s play in the second half of Sunday’s 19-14 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. After posting 16 points, 210 yards, and 11 first downs in the first two quarters, the team registered just three points, 101 yards, and five first downs in the final two.
Quarterback Joe Flacco questioned the offensive approach in the second half after the victory and followed up his comments Wednesday.
“We are used to around here winning games at the end in close games,” he said, adding that he had a conversation with Mornhinweg. “But when you have a team [down] 16-3 [at halftime], you would like to choke them out and get it over with. I think I was just a little disappointed in the moment that we had to withstand a last-minute drive to where they could have tied the game up or went ahead. The type of game it was early on, I felt like we had the opportunity to put them away a little earlier than we did, and that is probably where I was coming from.”
Mornhinweg, who pointed out that he won the debate he had with Flacco, agreed that he could have been more aggressive in his play calling.
“In the first half, we were gaining yards, but we weren’t quite running and gunning,” he said. “So I went through that game because it bothered me. It bothered me even though we won the game. I mean, we won the game, and we did some really good things to win the game. But that second half bothered me. I looked at myself quite a little bit there.
"Certainly could have done some things different to put a little bit more heat on them. In those first two drives, I thought we did. But certainly could do that just a little bit and try to keep your opponent off balance a little bit better than I’d say the middle of the third quarter and on.”