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John Harbaugh Explains His Decision To Change Offensive Coordinators


Sometimes, you just know if it in your gut.

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh made the decision Sunday night that it was time to change offensive coordinators, firing Marc Trestman and promoting Marty Mornhinweg.

Harbaugh didn't consult quarterback Joe Flacco, and he informed Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome of his decision Sunday night.

"It's my call," Harbaugh said.

"I didn't feel in my gut that, going the way we were going, it was going to change."

Harbaugh isn't one for comparisons, but acknowledged the similarities between his move Monday* *and the decision he made to replace Cam Cameron with Jim Caldwell in 2012, which sparked an offensive turnaround en route to Super XLVII victory.

Harbaugh didn't make the decision because it worked last time, but he's hoping for a similar kick start.

"We need to ramp things up, we need to do something differently, we need to look at defenses differently," Harbaugh said. "We need to be different than we've been."

The offense never found its footing through the first five games, and with a defense ranked atop the league, the offensive woes were holding Baltimore back from realizing its playoff aspirations, which are still very much in reach.

The Ravens' starting offense didn't come together until just before Week 1 due to injuries, but the unit still hasn't clicked after more than a month. The Ravens are the NFL's No. 23-ranked offense, averaging 338.2 yards and 18.8 points per game.

Baltimore didn't run the ball well in the first three games, then didn't run it enough when it was working Sunday against the Redskins.

Baltimore ran the ball 11 times for 74 yards in the first quarter, then just eight times for 44 yards in the next three quarters. Terrance West averaged 8.6 yards per carry, but had just 11 rushes.

"We didn't run the ball enough," Harbaugh said Monday. "When you go back and look at it, I feel like we were running the ball well enough to run the ball a lot more than we did."

The passing game hasn't found consistency despite having more weapons, on paper, than it has in many years with Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Dennis Pitta and more.

Flacco is second-to-last in the NFL in average yards per passing attempt (5.4 yards). The Ravens mustered just 210 passing yards despite 46 attempts against the Redskins, and Flacco often relied on check-down passes underneath.

"We're not putting enough points on the board and we're not putting enough yards on the board for the amount of times we're throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "That's just not going to cut it."

In the end, it's not just about getting the ball down the field more, or running it more often.

"It's more about direction," Harbaugh said. "It's a big picture type of a feel thing. Are we heading in the right direction? Do I see us getting there doing the things that we're doing right now? I think as a coach you have to assess that and make that call."

Harbaugh said he has a picture in his mind of what he wants the offense to look like.

"I just think we need different chemistry in there right now to get to where we need to go," Harbaugh said. "It is what plays get called in certain situations, but it is also the physicality of our offense [and] the attack mentality of our offense. It is how we go about our business. Those are things that just were not getting there.

"That is all of our responsibility. It's like I told the offensive coaches: 'Let's take this on us.' Marc Trestman is the guy that is going to suffer the most at this time, but it is all of our responsibility that this happened. It is all of our responsibility to get it right."

Harbaugh said it was nothing personally against Trestman, who the head coach said was "really good and really classy" when informed of the decision.

"He understands. He wants what's best for the Ravens," Harbaugh said.

"He's a good man. He has a good heart and he wants to see us do well. He understands as well as anybody that it becomes a bottom line type of situation and we just need to do the best we can to become as good as we can get. It has to be better than what we've done so far this year."

A 22-year NFL coaching veteran, Mornhinweg is a former head coach of the Lions (2001-02). He has also served as offensive coordinator for the Jets (2013-14), Eagles (2004-12) and 49ers (1997-2000).

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