Harbaugh has steady hand on unsteady offseason


As impressive as the Ravens’ Super Bowl title was, their consistent success over the span of years is the thing that separates them from others.

So it should be no surprise that Ravens coach John Harbaugh is taking a measured, steady approach to dealing with an offseason of change.

After letting so many familiar players walk out the door, Harbaugh’s leaning on owner Steve Bisciotti and his long-time co-workers including General Manager Ozzie Newsome, assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta, vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, director of pro personnel Vince Newsome and the coaches he has come to trust.

I talk to the people I usually talk to probably about what is going on,” Harbaugh said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “You probably can figure out who those people are. No, it hasn’t been too much different. Every year you face different challenges. This is new in a lot of different ways. You just try to do the best you can and make good choices and good decisions. We have a good team here. We have a lot of players that really care.

“We have a lot of leadership, young and veteran leadership. We have a great building from Steve Bisciotti right on through Ozzie, of course, Eric, Pat and Vince, and the coaching staff with our coordinators and our coaches always give us great input. It’s a team effort. Really, truly it is a team effort in all those kinds of areas.”

Having all those names in place is more important to year-in, year-out success than any individual player. That’s why the Ravens can let a player such as Ed Reed or Paul Kruger or Dannell Ellerbe walk, or trade Anquan Boldin, or watch Ray Lewis retire, and there’s still a sense they’re stable.

And given their five straight playoff appearances (and a 63-30 record under Harbaugh), it’s hard to argue that their approach isn’t the right one.

28 responses to “Harbaugh has steady hand on unsteady offseason

  1. You can expect a significant Superbowl-hangover for Baltimore this season…without a doubt. I’m not hating just for the sake of hate, I sincerely believe Baltimore will have a tough time winning their division next year, let alone making another Superbowl run.

  2. “It’s hard to argue that their approach isn’t the right one.”

    Never fear, someone will.

  3. John Harbaugh is very fortunate to have such great individuals in the organization with him. He has been successful because he is the ultimate team player and it’s not about his ego, but the success of the team. All the players act the same way, so they are successful every year and believe in themselves.

  4. This is going to be a fun year. Can’t wait to hear what the Steelers fans have to say when we repeat. Let the beatdowns commence.

  5. Joemontanaflacco says:

    Can’t wait to hear what the Steelers fans have to say when we repeat.
    Probably one of these:
    “Look at all those pigs in the sky?”
    “What’s all this ice doing in the lake of fire?”

  6. I dont think they will have a superbowl hangover because of the turnover off the roster. The new guys havent won anything so they are hungry. The team will be fine 11-5 10-6 and will tie for first in the division and make the playoffs. The o line is strong pierce and rice are very good defense should be a lot better and faster. Than what they were last year. I think this team will be a good squad.

  7. Don’t forget what owner, Steve B. said what the # one reason for The Ravens success over the last 5 years, “Joe Flacco”.

  8. The Ravens’ secret weapon is the Great and Powerful Oz. The man is a personnel genius and even Steeler fans have to agree. That said, it is very hard to win the Super Bowl and near impossible to win it twice in a row. The Ravens have 2 very good teams in their conference so it isn’t like they can conserve their resources for the playoffs, like the Colts and the Patriots used to do.

  9. I’m not saying the Ravens will win the division, but the fans who actually follow the team know that 1) no Cam Cameron this season will help the offense’s consistency regardless of who the receivers are and 2) many weaknesses of last year’s 17th ranked defense were jettisoned in various ways this offseason and all of their replacements are hands down better on paper anyway. Thats going to count for a lot when battling for this division title. So while I could easily see the Bengals and possibly even the Steelers taking the division as well, its hard not to like how the Ravens have retooled their team to stay right with their rivals if you’re capable of being an objective football fan.

  10. John is an outstanding coach. This is a first-class organization that does things right. The train wreck down the Beltway could learn a thing or two from them.

  11. You know what’s really funny?

    Vonta Leach resigns next week and the Ravens get another 4 compensatory picks next year. That gives the best scouting team in professional sports coming off a championship 22 cracks at studs in 2 years….(insert evil genius laugh here)

  12. Its understandable that the majority of fans haven’t paid close attention to the Ravens offseason (or even the post-season). The Ravens fortunes turned last year when Bryant McKinnie started playing LT, KO moved from RT to LG, and Jah Reid went to the bench. That OL gave up virtually no sacks to some of the best defenses. Birk has retired, but he was getting bull-rushed. Gradkowski should step in. Anquon will be missed, but Pitta will step into that role.

    The defense was horrible last year (until the last drive). Reed couldn’t tackle, Ray was too slow, Pollard couldn’t cover TE coming out of the backfield. We gain a healthy Webb at corner, Graham is still there, and Jimmy Smith was our best corner in the playoffs. We signed Huff, Canty, Spears, and Dumervil, and had a great draft. The front seven will be dominating, and our offense will be younger, faster, and better.

    Sleep on the Ravens if you want. The Steelers are the ones that should be concerned. They had major losses without replacement. They are still old and slow. We lost our nine oldest players.

  13. It is hard to believe that five years ago a lot of Ravens fans (and players) were in near meltdown mode that the Ravens picked Harbs over Rex. I took a wait and see attitude, and in retrospect Ozzie, Cass & Steve have been vindicated in their choice. I am a bottom line guy – and it is hard to argue with the results: 5 playoff appearances, at least one playoff win each year, 2 division titles, 3 AFC Championship games and a Super Bowl title (it may have been back to back if not for Evans & Cundiff). How many NFL coaches can boast that kind of track record? How many franchises would love to have that level of success? In addition, at this point the guy also comports himself as a terrific face for the franchise, unlike Rex. He has terrific poise, demeanor and temperament with just a slight bit of edge. Rex has had some success – but long term Harbs was the right choice to steward the franchise with respect to a change in culture. I think he will continue to grow and get better without Ray & Ed.

    I like Harbs and I like Tomlin as well. Neither the Steelers nor Ravens make knee-jerk changes and I think that is a big reason why they are consistent contenders. I look forward to their continued battles as both are great young coaches. Eventually, the Ravens will have an off year like the Steelers – and this run will come to an end – but I don’t see it happening this year.

  14. Our oldest defender is Suggs at 30 in his 10th yr. the d will be very good. My only ? Is can they replace anquan’s productivity. If so then repeating is not out of the question, unless you are mark freaking schlereth. He is the brilliant talking head who said haloti ngata would be a bust because he took off too many plays. 3 pro bowls and 2 all pros later schlereth is still a freaking moron.

  15. Wait, this doesn’t fit the ‘sky is falling’ narrative!?

    No QB wants to see Sizzle and Elvis coming at them. That duo along with a healthy Webb & new guys replacing aged out of their prime players will make an old school Ravens D again.

    The only player we will really miss is Q.

    The division is theirs. Repeat is a stretch to guess at this point but the division is theirs.

  16. The Steelers are the ones that should be concerned. They had major losses without replacement. They are still old and slow. We lost our nine oldest players.

    The Steelers lost 4 of their oldest players (Hampton, Harrison, Allen and Starks), 3 of which were starters last year….so technically they got younger. And according to Ravens fans, Mendenhall and Wallace were sub-par anyway so by their philosophy, the Steelers improved. What do you expect from the land of delusion and hypocrisy. Having said that…….The Bengals may just run away with the division this year. Their defense is underrated and the offense is a few clicks away from doing what the Ravens did in the playoffs last year on offense.

  17. Every year, I look at the Draft and come up with a few players that I like. And every year, those names get picked by either Ozzie or Jerry Reese.

  18. I’m surprised Raven haters haven’t commented much

    Why would anyone hate the Ravens as a team? Like the Steelers, they are respected as a tough, physical team with a solid front office. Without the Steelers, there would be no Ravens and vice versa (well, without the BROWNS, there would be no Ravens but that is for another thread). Best rivalry in sports. The problem is that people hate Art Modell for robbing the City of Cleveland, people hate Ray Lewis because he got away with murder, and people have no respect for a chunk of Ravens fans because they speak in delusion and hypocrisy. Sure all fans of every team have a quirk to them, but it seems like Ravens fans have a double-standard. I do not know if that comes with rooting for a team that was stolen from another city when the same thing happened to Baltimore years ago. Still….there is respect for the TEAM.

  19. Best Head Coach in Baltimore history, the current NFL & the Harbaugh family. And that’s saying something!

    Baltimore history – What about Don Shula? He had a .725 winning percentage in the regular season over a 100 game span.

    Current NFL – Jeff Fisher and Andy Reid may not have won a Super Bowl but they are darn good coaches that have had crappy teams to work with.

  20. The fruits of Jack Harbaugh’s labors are paying off for John & Jim. They know how to coach and put a winning team together. That’s why you’re going to see them successful for the next 10 years.

  21. The inconsistancies of the Ravens offense were clearly attributed to Cam Cameron.
    And the majority of players that left the team this year were defensive players.

    Harbaugh is a fantastic coach and Caldwell has already shown us a taste of what is to come with this offense.

    GO RAVENS!!!!!!

  22. Old and Slow comments regarding the Steelers are regurgitated by Dumb (Warren The Sap) and Dumber (anyone that parrots him). The Steeler roster has been getting younger each year and is nowhere near as old as people are saying. The champion Ravens were just as close to being out the post-season as the Steelers were to being in it.

    Go toot your horn, Felons fans, revel in the fact that your accomplice to murder got to leave on a high note instead of getting the Hernandez treatment. Your younger team beat Steelers backup QBs once last year, and only because our crappy ST couldnt stop a return, in a game our D held you out of the EZ all day.

    The only thing the Ravens dominated last year was the luck column.

  23. @oneandtwenty123…… agreed. The Ravens have been able to secure more than suitable replacements for their departed players. My only concern is the on-field leadership they lost with Ray Lewis’s retirement. Does Suggs fill that void? Maybe Dumervil? You never really worry about the constant threat that the Ravens embody though. They’re always tough and always are competing in January. That’s a testimony to the work the front office is doing for sure. That’s Baltimore’s division to lose IMHO.

  24. now thats a great post by steeler fan walking in the wasteland. he had a great excuse for every steeler shortcoming and totally refused to give the sb champs any credit. he even took a shot at ray, who actually pled to a misdeamoner not a felony. i guess he forgot about plax….the felon. sorry to break this to you but the reasons the ravens won the sb and the steelers watched is because the ravens were better last year. maybe this year will be different, but with an offense that cant score more than 23 pts i highly doubt it. go ravens

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