1-3 stretch puts John Harbaugh back on the hot seat

Getty Images

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said during his end-of-season press conference that he considered firing coach John Harbaugh. Per a report from the media outlet Bisciotti partially owns, Bisciotti is considering it right now.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media offers this particularly ominous assessment of Harbaugh’s current status: “Pressure is mounting inside the organization on Harbaugh, sources say, as a playoffs-or-bust season is dangerously close to spiraling downward. While a midseason coaching change is not currently the expectation, it hasn’t been ruled out, either. A particularly disastrous defeat would send the higher-ups into the bye week with some very real questions and time to ponder their future.”

After the Ravens started 3-1, with the last win a 12-point victory in Pittsburgh, it looked like all would be well for a team that seemed to be destined for the playoffs. But it’s been 1-3 since then, with a narrow loss to the Saints followed by the Panthers basically chasing the Ravens off the field in Charlotte.

So, yes, the season is at a crossroads, especially with the Ravens currently in third place in the AFC North. But the notion that a loss to the Steelers on Sunday — even by 12 points or worse — could be Harbaugh’s final act in Baltimore seems like a stretch.

Regardless of whether it happens now or later, it’s hard to imagine Harbaugh, who would have a buyout through 2019, not having immediate opportunities elsewhere. The Browns, which wanted to hire his brother nearly five years ago, could make a beeline for the Harbaugh who actually won a Super Bowl.

Other teams that make a change could be inclined to consider him as well. From the (depending on how the rest of the season goes) the Jets to the Dolphins (which wanted to hire his brother eight years ago) to the Broncos to the Cowboys to the Packers to the Buccaneers to the Cardinals, any team that makes a change would be wise to at least consider hiring a guy who would then have a chance to become the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises.

While that may not make Harbaugh the right guy to return for what would be a 12th season in Baltimore, it doesn’t mean he’s not the right guy to start fresh elsewhere. Chances are that at least one other owner will decide that he is.

47 responses to “1-3 stretch puts John Harbaugh back on the hot seat

  1. This game will tell us a lot about the Steelers and how well Tomlin can prepare his team. A win today puts a big nail in the Ravens season. Do the Steelers have the mental toughness to show up and drive that nail? Or, do they watch the Ravens come up with the kind of win that breatehs new life into Baltimore’s season?

  2. Mike, there may indeed be pressure on Harbaugh, but Steve Bisciotti is one the least impetuous of NFL owners and I don’t see him making a move at midseason even if the season goes off the rails in bgg the next two games.

    Bisciotti waited until January to remove Brian Billick after Billick’s ego finally grated on everyone and that disastrous 2007 season. And remember that Billick was a Modell hire, not Steve’s.

    Let’s see what happens over the next 3 weeks. Putting it planning, if the Ravens make the playoffs, Harbs stays. If they don’t, look for a coaching change NLT January 15.

  3. Who ever keeps giving Flaco new contracts is the one that should be fired,
    I don’t know that is but damn.

  4. Who will take the hit for Harbaugh’s failures this time? You don’t have Brady to blame. Someone on those teams MUST have cheated.

    Won a Super Bowl? More like handed one. Johnny boy glommed onto #52s going away “gift”.

  5. I think Harbaugh is a good coach, but the Ravens will be flawed as lomg as they keep Flacco at QB. Flacco is so up and down that it’s crazy. He looks pretty good one week, decent another week, very marginal another week, and horrible yet another week. He’s inconsistent and has never been a top tier QB, with the possible exception of that one magical year. If Harbaugh wants to keep his job, Flacco is not what I’d call good insurance.

  6. Ravens fan from England since ‘07 – which means my support has coincided with Flacco and Harbaughs entire careers. They are both terrible;

    Flacco has not progressed since his rookie year.

    Harbaugh continually gets outcoached and anyone that employs Marty as their OC should be checked for mental health problems.

  7. .
    The Ravens schedule is very favorable going forward:

    @Kansas City
    @LA Chargers

    The division is theirs for the taking.

  8. If I had a nickel for every bad call against the Ravens I’d be the richest person on Earth. The one thing Goodell doesn’t want is Belichick running into Harbaugh or Reid in the playoffs.

  9. It isnt Flacco, it’s the game plan. Opposing defensive coordinators know how to scheme against what the Ravens bring. And besides, what other option do they have to play quarterback in a pro style offense? Jackson?

  10. John Harbaugh would likely be unemployed for maybe 5 minutes if the Ravens fired him. Good HC, and a fresh start somewhere else would be good for both him and the team that hired him.

  11. As a Ravens fan, I have been longing for Steve FIRE Harbaugh. I’m sick him and all his “53 mighty men” crap. Enough is enough. His tenure can’t come to and end soon enough.

  12. Although Harbaugh would be a huge improvement over McCarthy in Green Bay I think it would be better to hire an offensive minded coach there who can get the most out of Rodgers. Too often the green bay offense plays below their talent level, mostly from poor play calling, until Rodgers just takes over and at that point you just hope it’s close and there’s enough time left in the game.

  13. Here is an interesting thought: John H leaves Baltimore, Jim H becomes HC of Dallas and John H cones with him…

  14. notwhoyouthinkitis says:
    November 4, 2018 at 9:08 am
    Harbaugh will always play second fiddle to Tomlin when it comes to games that really count such as playoffs. Always.


    Then how is it that Harbaoifh has actually managed to beat BB and the Pats in the postseason whilst Tomlin has failed each and every time?

    Methinks you have this backwards

  15. The owner is the problem. When the Ravens needed a QB when Flacco was hurt, the owner would not even allow the coach or GM to bring Kap in for a tryout. Harbaugh should be thrilled if he is fired. He should have no problem finding another head coaching job in the NFL.

  16. harryglyphics says:

    First coach to win SB with two different franchises?
    Didju forget Shula?

    Shula did not win a Super Bowl with the Colts, just with the Dolphins

  17. Today’s game doesn’t mean much, 10 wins takes the division. With a loss today they are 4-5 with 4 home games left

  18. harryglyphics says:
    November 4, 2018 at 9:44 am
    First coach to win SB with two different franchises?
    Didju forget Shula?

    Shula did not win a SB with two different franchises.
    Colts lost to the Jets

  19. Win or lose today will only matter if the Ravens don’t make the playoffs.

    Harbaugh will be the coach through the end of the season. After that..

    Your guess is as good as mine.
    But he will get another HC position.

  20. He needs to go. Yes he’ll be hired again assuming he wants to coach right away, with the right owner, etc. Everyone can blame Flacco all they want for Ravens problems. Let’s be clear that Harbaugh & Ozzie deserve the lion’s share of the blame for the ongoing problems & especially the offense. They haven’t surrounded Flacco with much talent, if any, the last several seasons. It’s over the hill WR free agents, 1 year wonder RB here and there. Have they drafted any elite talent TE, WR, RB for the offense in last 6 years? (some good O linemen yes) Who gets the bulk of the blame for running crap offenses in a league which requires top level offensive schemes, players, to consistently compete for the SB?

  21. The person who should really be on the hot seat is the person responsible for signing Flacco to that ridiculous contract extension following the 2012 season.

  22. I said after last year that he should have walked away just to recharge his batteries similar to Andy Reid leaving Philadelphia. The Ravens have been rebuilding since they won the Super Bowl last, so people get confused on what kind of job he’s done. They’ve had some tough luck more than anything this year, and I still think they would be likeliest to win the Super Bowl if they can get their minds right for these last couple of months of the season. They just need to button up a few things to make it happen.

  23. The Ravens seem to run a pretty good football operation. The coaches handle the coaching, and the personnel people handle the personnel. John Harbaugh is as good as just about any coach in the NFL. The Ravens players are not as good a many of the other 32 NFL rosters. They drafted a good athlete at the QB position, but he’s far from a finished product. Which coach out there wants to sacrifice a couple seasons to see if the kid will ever become an NFL QB? Maybe they’re getting him ready to take over next year, just like what’s happening in KC with Mahomes. I don’t know, and I certainly don’t expect Harbaugh to tell everyone if that is the plan. Ian doesn’t always have the best sources when he comes out with something like this, and all 32 owners partially own NFL media, so that’s a bit misleading. But hearing those 15 second campaign spots on the air these days, it’s pretty obvious we’re not (myself included) the most sophisticated target audience on the planet. Lol

  24. Flacco didn’t even look at a wide open Lamar Jackson on 3rd and goal and instead threw the ball away…..he stinks

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!