John Harbaugh is dealing with a post-season that includes preparing for the next season and not preparing for his next game in the first time in his career. In fact, he’s dealing with not preparing for the AFC Championship game for the first time since the 2010 season and only the third time not making it to the conference title game in his six year career. Not bad for a guy who’s never been a coordinator, huh?
With all of the success Coach Harbaugh’s had, he faces one of the more important decisions of his coaching career. The Baltimore Ravens signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a 6-year $120 million contract after the 2012 season and he suffered, statistically, the worst year of his career. The Superbowl MVP threw 19 touchdowns and a career high 22 interceptions in 2013 while the offense sputtered at times.
Joe’s not the only well-paid offensive player who had a disappointing season in 2013. Former Pro-Bowl running back Ray Rice had a career low 3.1 yards per carry and his 660 yards rushing was the lowest total since his rookie year. Some point at the hip injury as a reason for the decline while others wonder whether this is the beginning of a gradual decline in the performance of the 26-year old.
Whatever the problem is or the reason(s) for said problems, the Ravens are now looking for a new Offensive Coordinator now that Jim Caldwell has left for the Head Coaching job in Detroit. This is, arguably, the biggest decision this team has made since the organization hired John Harbaugh to be its Head Coach before the 2008 season.
The Ravens have to make the right decision and get productivity out of their franchise quarterback in 2014. While it’s said that Harbaugh and Flacco have regular dialog, the decision of who calls plays for the Baltimore Ravens moving forward clearly lies in the hands of the Head Coach. That decision is a very crucial one and could determine the success or failure of this organization in the near future.