The Ravens have lost back-to-back home games to the Raiders and the Redskins and head to the Meadowlands this weekend with a new offensive coordinator. Marty Mornhinweg has been promoted from quarterback coach after Marc Trestman was asked to leave the building and thanked for his contributions.
So what can we expect “Marty Ball” to look like Sunday against the Giants? I didn’t get the memo but I expect a couple of things to look different. Let’s start with the run/pass ratio. I have a strong suspicion John Harbaugh would like to feature more running plays. And why not? The Ravens threw the ball 52 times in the Oakland loss and 46 times last Sunday against the Redskins.
After running for 113 yards against the Raiders, Ravens running back Terrence West was averaging nearly 9 yards a carry against Washington when he and the run game disappeared from the game plan. Crazy! I expect Mornhinweg to bring better balance to the offense and I also expect him to be more aggressive with the long ball in the passing game.
Joe Flacco has a big arm and receivers Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman have speed and big-play ability, I expect less dink-and-dunk throws and more big play attempts. Don’t look for the Ravens to go Air-Coryell but I’d expect an extra 3-5 big play attempts a game. In the big picture a bigger emphasis on the run game but more long passes.
The coordinator and play-caller for the offense has changed but it may not matter if the offensive line doesn’t improve. Inexperience, injuries and just poor play have combined to give this bunch a failing grade. With several linemen injured this week it’s possible the Ravens will start two rookies at tackle and two backups at guard Sunday against the Giants. Bill Walsh would be in trouble calling plays with that line.
The Trestman playbook won’t be burned it will be tweaked by Mornhigweg who brings energy and plenty of experience to his new role. The last time the Ravens fired their offensive coordinator in mid-season (2012) Jim Caldwell took over for Cam Cameron and the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl.
Four years later “Marty Ball” sounds like a breath of fresh air and the Ravens are hoping for similar results. It’s a new day for the struggling Ravens offense and a chance to hit the re-set button, but it just might be that the players and not the play-caller is what’s ailing the guys in Purple and Black.