ORLANDO, Fla. -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti gave coach John Harbaugh a new four-year contract after winning the Super Bowl. That was an easy reward.
There is much more significance behind Bisciotti extending Harbaugh another year after the Ravens failed to reach the playoffs last season. Supporting Harbaugh after his most disappointing season is the strongest vote of confidence Bisciotti could give.
Harbaugh earned this unexpected pat on the back because he achieved the goals that Bisciotti set before him. He turned the Ravens into a perennial playoff team, and he changed their image of being sore losers.
In six seasons, Harbaugh has won 62 regular-season games, the third-most in the NFL over that span. He's also guided the Ravens to the playoffs in five of his first six seasons. It says a lot that an 8-8 season is a disappointment. Breaking even would be considered a success for the likes of the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders.
There are going to be doubts when the Ravens fail to make the playoffs in the same year when they lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the locker room. There have been questions from the Baltimore media as to whether Harbaugh made the call in hiring Gary Kubiak as his offensive coordinator.
This is why the extension sends a strong message of support for Harbaugh as a coach and a leader.