Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh defends offensive coordinator

NFL


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh deflected some of the criticism aimed at offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on Monday, saying no one should point the finger at him even though the Baltimore Ravens rank among the worst offenses in the NFL.

The Ravens are the only team with an offense that ranks in the bottom five in total yards and offensive points per game. Baltimore also failed to score an offensive touchdown in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears.

Mornhinweg, who was promoted to coordinator about this time last year, is the play-caller for an offense that ranks 29th in yards per game (289.2) and 30th in offensive points per game (15.3).

“I think anytime you try to pin the blame on any one person in a team sport like this, that’s always going to be a mistake. That’s nonsensical,” Harbaugh said. “It just doesn’t work that way. But I understand that’s how it works. We all understand that.”

Harbaugh has twice fired offensive coordinators during the season in his 10 years in Baltimore. In December 2012, he dismissed Cam Cameron and hired Jim Caldwell, who helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl that season. In October of last season, he made the change from Marc Trestman to Mornhinweg, who has failed to turn around the offense.

In 21 games under Trestman, Baltimore ranked 15th in total yards and 25th in scoring. In 17 games under Mornhinweg, the Ravens are 23rd in total yards and 23rd in scoring.

The Ravens have been held to one or no offensive touchdowns in seven games under Mornhinweg. That’s 41 percent of the time.

The one area where the Ravens have significantly improved is running the ball. Baltimore has the sixth-best ground attack in the league, although a large part of the credit for this goes to senior offensive assistant Mark Roman.

Harbaugh surprisingly chose to retain Mornhinweg as his play-caller at the end of last season. He didn’t sway from that decision as the offense has played a major role in Baltimore’s 3-3 start this season.

“I think Marty is a great coach. There’s no question in mind about it,” Harbaugh said. “I’ve seen him over the years, I know what he can do. I know what he’s trying to do. You do everything you can to put your guys in position to make plays and you’re in it together.”



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