OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was asked what he would say to fans who are unhappy about the team's decision to retain Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator.
"My quarterback [Joe Flacco] seems happy with it," Bisciotti said.
One day after the season ended, Flacco indicated that he didn't expect a change at offensive coordinator. Still, coach John Harbaugh's decision to keep Mornhinweg was among the biggest surprises to start the offseason.
The Ravens ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing (29th), third-down efficiency (21st), red zone efficiency (19th) and scoring (18th) after Mornhinweg took over for Marc Trestman for the final 11 games of the season. Under Mornhinweg, the Ravens had the same issues that led to Trestman getting fired. Baltimore struggled to stretch the field and failed to commit to the run.
Harbaugh's reasoning to retain Mornhinweg is based on the support of the players, continuity and how the system best suits Flacco.
"I do not think I need to stand up here and sing a coach’s praises who has had 25 years in this league and has had tremendous success," Harbaugh said. "We need to find the right fit for us, the right fit for Joe, the right fit for our organizational philosophy and what we are trying to build and who we want to be and what our identity is going to be. I believe wholeheartedly that is Marty."
Harbaugh plans to add more assistants to his offensive staff. Former Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is reportedly a candidate to be Baltimore's run game coordinator.
The Ravens are also looking to hire a quarterbacks coach. Baltimore was without one last season after Mornhinweg was promoted from quarterbacks coach to coordinator.
Harbaugh said his search includes one in-house candidate as well as coaches from the college and NFL level. But Harbaugh doesn't see the quarterbacks coach as a conduit for Flacco and Mornhinweg.
"The main communicator to Joe is going to be the offensive coordinator, in our case," Harbaugh said. "You don’t want a bunch of voices, I don’t believe, talking to your quarterback. You don’t want him to hear a lot of different ways of doing things. You want it to be straight forward coming from the playcaller. When the quarterback and the playcaller are on the same page, you’re a lot farther down the road. The most important relationship is between Marty Mornhinweg and Joe Flacco, in terms of how we build this pass offense and the offense generally, including his fundamentals and technique."
Mornhinweg is the fifth offensive coordinator in Harbaugh's nine seasons in Baltimore. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens rank 15th in yards gained (340.9) and offensive points scored (21.1).
Harbaugh said Mornhinweg shares the same vision in terms of what offense the Ravens want to build.
"I really believe that Marty Mornhinweg is a heck of a football coach," Harbaugh said. "I know he wants to run the ball. I know he wants a physical offense. I know he wants a quarterback that is playing in a certain, confident way that makes good decisions and makes big plays while he protects the football. All of the things that we all know we want are things that he believes in. The next thing is to get there, and that is what we go to work on.”