Ravens take the anti-Packers approach to missing out on the playoffs

John Harbaugh's only coaching move this offseason has been promoting linebackers coach Wink Martindale to defensive coordinator. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers have been two of the NFL's most successful franchises over the past decade.

But each took different approaches in missing out on the playoffs this year. The Packers underwent major changes, while the Ravens went in the completely opposite direction.

Despite failing to reach the postseason for a third straight year, coach John Harbaugh decided to keep Marty Mornhinweg as his offensive coordinator, then promoted linebackers coach Don "Wink" Martindale to defensive coordinator on Tuesday. The Ravens essentially went with the status quo in regards to the coaching staff, which is really the tough choice considering the state of the Baltimore football community.

A fan base, which has contributed to the increasing number of empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium, wanted a new offensive playcaller. A fan base, which booed the Ravens in the regular-season finale, wanted a splash at defensive coordinator like Chuck Pagano or Vic Fangio to replace Dean Pees, who retired at the end of the season.

The more popular decision would've been making widespread changes like Green Bay has undergone this month. After not making the postseason for the first time since 2008, coach Mike McCarthy fired his offensive and defensive coordinators in addition to the quarterbacks coach. Long-time general manager Ted Thompson stepped aside.

All of these sweeping moves come when the Packers had the best built-in excuse to keep everyone. Green Bay was without quarterback Aaron Rodgers for nine games because of a broken collarbone.

The Ravens battled through their share of injuries as well, but nothing came close to losing a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player for nearly half of the season. Still, the theme for a second straight offseason is continuity.

"I am happy with the coaches that we have on defense and offense," coach John Harbaugh said. "We are building going forward."

The promotion of Martindale comes across as anticlimactic. If Martindale was the top choice, Harbaugh could've announced the move at last week's season-ending press conference.

Martindale was the No. 1 in-house candidate. He has the support of the locker room. He has been instrumental in the development of Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr and Matthew Judon.

But Martindale's only year as an NFL defensive coordinator was a forgettable one. In 2010, Martindale was in charge of a Broncos defense that led the NFL most yards (390.8) and points (29.4) allowed per game. It was a difficult situation for Martindale, who lost Elvis Dumervil to a season-ending chest injury in training camp.

Beyond that, many felt a new voice was needed for a Ravens defense. While dominant at times, the Baltimore defense gave up leads in the fourth quarter and allowed last-minute touchdowns that eliminated the team from the postseason the past two seasons.

Harbaugh, though, feels Martindale will do more than maintain the strong tradition of the Ravens defense.

"His aggressive mentality will serve to take our defense to new levels," Harbaugh said in a statement.

Throughout the NFL, teams are trying to change their fortune by changing their coaching staff and personnel. The Carolina Panthers fired their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after making the playoffs. The Buffalo Bills could be parting ways with quarterback Tyrod Taylor after ending a 17-year postseason drought.

The Ravens, meanwhile, are staying the course two weeks after their season abruptly ended. Whether that line of thinking leads to their first trip to the postseason since 2014 remains to be seen.