Highlights from John Harbaugh’s end-of-season press conference

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media for 45 minutes today as he wrapped up his season-ending press conference. Many things were discussed, ranging from offense and offensive coordinator Greg Roman to the departure of defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and his replacement, Mike Macdonald.

Greg Roman will return

Whether Ravens fans like it or not, Harbaugh thinks Roman is part of their build.

Harbaugh was asked about the spacing issue that is raised about wide outlets and receivers where they appear clustered. He noted that there is freedom in the routes for his receivers to sometimes make their own decisions and be asked to make readings on the fly. He also said it’s something that Lamar Jackson and receivers like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Mark Andrews and others like to use the ability to do their own readings on certain plays.

My minds: Roman was playing with half a hand at a professional poker table through no fault of his own. Two early running backs in JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards were out before the season started, but also just before the season started, leaving the team to search the veteran basket. He also lacked Ronnie Stanley, arguably the team’s best player at left tackle. He had to come up with a design that featured poor tackles with a lack of playmakers at running back. Guess Harbaugh is convinced this team couldn’t play on lack of tackling and running back talent, not because of the play call. They couldn’t get the blocks against some of the best pitchers of NFL assists being in their own division (TJ Watt, Myles Garrett, Trey Hendrickson). This greatly affected their throwing ability. It also caused great difficulty in running the ball. Therefore, they are giving Roman a chance to run it in 2022 and see if he can create a successful offense with a (hopefully) perfectly healthy offense.

Steve Saunders will return

The Ravens suffered crippling injuries in 2021. In response, Harbaugh said he spent four hours with the performance staff going over different training models, workouts and load management to improve the team. He said something about leaving no stone unturned as they hope to prevent another season of this caliber.

My minds: Harbaugh seemed intent on keeping this team healthy and preventing injury in 2022. He was visibly frustrated when discussing the topic, but also seemed hopeful they could figure it out. A four-hour injury prevention meeting with performance staff is no joke. By the way, I don’t think I would ever want to be the recipient of a four hour meeting with Harbaugh in my field that has seen such struggles. I’m sure he toasted them and was also looking for answers on how they could avoid this in the future.

I’m a little surprised Saunders is coming back. I thought injuries and injury prevention were so heavily discussed throughout the season and even now the lead strength and conditioning coach might have the boot. It was even the head of my article for baltimoreravens.com on Monday morning: Late for work on 01/31: the priority for the off-season? Improving injury prevention

My question for Harbaugh: Offensive construction, running in a passing league and how Harbaugh expects the offense to develop

Kyle Barber: “The way you’ve built the roster in your time over the last few years has been focused on a strong rushing offense. You even set records. [But] How worried are you that it might go a little against the grain when the league as a whole seems to be all about passing and you see these two high-flying offenses like the Rams and Bengals in the Super Bowl, and how have you made adjustments to focus more on passing as you progress over the last two years? »

“Yeah, I mean, we worked hard for it. Our passing offense was statistically much better this year than the year before. But you have to build your offense around the players you have, and those teams handle the ball very well too. Simply saying that they pass teams is really not true. Throughout the playoffs, all of these teams handled the ball well. It’s largely quarterback runs, which is a big dynamic for us. A lot of our running offense this year was quarterback runs and that’s been the last two years. But the rigged racing game, that’s probably something we’ve been the better team at. It’s something we’ve been pushing for the last two years and it’s something that’s really dropped this year, so it’s a big thing for us. What is the size of a piece in the future? That’s what we have to decide. It will be a big chunk. But is it going to be as big as 2019 as Lamar progresses as a quarterback? No, I don’t think it will. [The run game] will be a piece and people will have to deal with it and deal with it, but it won’t be as big as it was that year. I hope this is an evolution that we will make as our players grow.

My minds: I think Harbaugh underestimated that current Super Bowl offenses are all about passing.

The Rams were the No. 5 team in passing offense in the regular season; the Bengals: No. 7. Both teams were below-average running teams in the regular season, with the Rams ranking 25th and the Bengals not far ahead of them at No. 23. Both teams also have a top five wide receiver in terms of yards, with Rams wide receiver Kupp leading the NFL with 1,947 yards and rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase (a bit) just behind at No. 4, with 1,455 yards. In short, they go through offenses with star power at quarterback and receiver. It’s good news, too, because the No. 6 receiver this season was Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who caught 107 balls for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns, and has done so with three different quarterbacks this season. .

The Ravens have the point guards to be part of the top echelon of passing teams. It was a press conference that didn’t address the lack of receiving talent. The Ravens boast Andrews, Hollywood and will have a healthy Rashod Bateman entering his second season. Harbaugh says the rushing offense won’t be “as big” as it was in previous years, giving hope to a team that wants to become more dynamic. But, they won’t let go of the success they found on the field with Jackson and the rushing attack, which will hopefully feature a healthy tandem of running backs in JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, who have been named the best running duo of 2021, with Jackson in tow. Reading Harbaugh’s response and speculating, I think he’s well aware that the league is all about airing it, but he didn’t lose to him that ground game, clock control, and ability to have a multi-headed front are a strength the Ravens can use as a positive.

Marcus Peters back?

Harbaugh, speaking of injury, spoke of his excitement for the team to pick up two first-round corners.

Peters is currently in the final year of his contract, which nets him a big cap of $15.5 million. The cap savings resulting from Peters’ cut would give $10 million a break, but it would also mean there wouldn’t be a generation-best ballhawk cornerback to take home since entering the NFL.

My minds: It looks like the Ravens and Harbaugh want Peters back. No surprises there, even with its eight-figure cap. He’s a coach, a teammate and a fan favorite because of his game and character. It’s a Raven through and through.

Tee Martin interviewing Bills for offensive coordinator

A year after landing Tee Martin, the Ravens could see him go elsewhere. Harbaugh announced that Martin had been invited by the Buffalo Bills to interview for their position as offensive coordinator.

My minds: Losing Martin is far from ideal. He helped improve the Ravens’ passing offense, along with Keith Williams. It would be disappointing to see him go, and I fear Williams might consider following Martin to Buffalo. The Bills are a great organization that has “got it” over the past few years and has an eye for talent. The fact that they’re chasing Martin shows the Ravens have landed a good one and he may already be on his way to bigger things.

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