BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and, along with Lamar Jackson, head coach John Harbaugh has played a big role in making that happen. The 58-year-old coach is considered among the league’s best and according to CBSSports.com, he’s third on the list of best head coaches entering the 2021 season.

Writer Cody Benjamin ranked all 32 NFL head coaches starting with the bottom of the barrel and working his way up and Harbaugh checked in at No. 3 behind only New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Kansas City Chiefs boss Andy Reid.

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What about Harbaugh puts him so high on the list? For Benjamin, it’s the consistency (only one sub .500 season since coming to Baltimore) and the willingness to adapt his team’s playing style to best fit the talent that sets him apart.

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“Critics may compare him to his current star QB, Lamar Jackson: Undeniably good, but can he win it all? Let’s not forget Harbaugh already has. No, he hasn’t returned to an AFC title game since 2012, but his team has also gotten incrementally better since Jackson entered the picture. Few coaches are as reliable and so willing to adapt their approach. Another ring is certainly within reach,” Benjamin wrote.

The Ravens have taken steps in each of the last three years in particular. First adapting the offense mid-season to fit what Lamar does well as a rookie, earning a playoff berth. Then, overhauling everything in the offseason to put together a punishing run-first attack that set NFL records for yards in a season and rushing yards by a quarterback in 2019 before being upset in the divisional round. And, last year, beating the Tennessee Titans to advance to get Jackson his first playoff win.

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The hope from fans is that Harbaugh and the Ravens will be able to continue that progression and put themselves in AFC Championship and Super Bowl contention. To do so, it’s likely they’d have to go through the top man on the list, Reid, at some point in the AFC playoffs.

CBS Baltimore Staff