As Marty Mornhinweg takes over as the Ravens offensive coordinator Sunday at MetLife Stadium, it's worth examining the records of the last three guys who held the job.
Marc Trestman was the OC for 21 regular-season games. The Ravens won eight.
Before Trestman, Gary Kubiak was the OC for 16 regular-season games. The Ravens won 10.
Before Kubiak, Jim Caldwell was the OC for 19 regular-season games. The Ravens won nine.
What do those numbers tell us?
It's tempting to suggest it says none knocked the ball out of the park, but that's not true. Caldwell's tenure included a postseason run that culminated with a Super Bowl victory, and the Ravens came oh-so-close to reaching the AFC title game in the one year Kubiak ran the offense.
No, what stands out to me about those numbers is none of the three held the job for long – less than a season and a half in each case. In other words, you might be better off renting rather than buying when you become the Ravens OC.
Maybe Mornhinweg, 54, will discover a recipe for offensive success that sends the Ravens hurtling toward a playoff berth – he's been at this coaching thing for a long time and knows what he's doing. But will the fifth guy to run the Ravens offense since December 2012 actually settle in or become the latest temp to hold the job?
Big picture, the Ravens are renowned for their front office stability. They've had the same general manager for two decades, just two head coaches since 1999. Their current defensive coordinator has held the job since 2012.
But it's a different story with the OC job.
Understand, that's not because Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is a grass-is-greener guy, constantly dissatisfied and seeking change. When he took over in Baltimore in 2008, Harbaugh hired Cam Cameron as his OC, and Cameron was on the job for 61 regular-season games – almost five years. More recently, Kubiak and Caldwell left only because they received head coaching job offers elsewhere, not because Harbaugh wanted them gone.
But that's the root of the issue right there, I believe. Although the offense's sputtering performances certainly are part of the equation, the Ravens' situation needs to be put in context. Get this: 24 of the NFL's 32 current OCs have been on the job for less than two years. The job has become a constantly revolving door league-wide, not just in Baltimore.
Why? Well, some guys get promoted, some take other jobs and some, like Trestman, just get fired. But generally, it's a pass-happy, higher-scoring league now, and patience grows thin when teams don't see themselves keeping pace with the latest offensive trends. Each change then has a ripple effect, producing more.
After firing Trestman earlier this week, Harbaugh told a story about the late Clarence Brooks explaining the transitory nature of the business to his son, Jason, now a college coach. Brooks was talking about coaching in general, but it really applies to OCs these days.
"Clarence told Jason, 'Hey, man, I got a lot of pink slips in my life. You don't worry about a pink slip in this business. It's just part of the deal,'" Harbaugh said. "I think that is the life that coaches and players have. There is not going to be security in football."
Mornhinweg knows OC changes are routine throughout the NFL, not just in Baltimore. Before joining Harbaugh's staff, he was an OC with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. He also was the Detroit Lions' head coach and an offensive assistant with the Green Bay Packers.
Now he's inheriting one of Baltimore's toughest jobs. Who gets second-guessed more than the Ravens OC? Fans were convinced Trestman didn't run enough, didn't throw deep enough, and that his offense wasn't physical enough. It turned out Harbaugh agreed on all counts. But that's a lot to clean up, and hey, Mornhinweg can't do everything. Receivers need to catch. Blockers need to block.
Regardless, anticipation is running high as another new era begins. This isn't a rebuilding job. Harbaugh made the change to try to improve things immediately, win now, save a season. No doubt, it would be a nice change for the Ravens if that happened and then Mornhinweg actually stuck around for awhile.