After the best regular season in franchise history, Head Coach John Harbaugh was named Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association, while Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
It's the first time that a Ravens head coach has won Coach of the Year from the PFWA. Roman becomes the third Ravens coordinator to win Assistant Coach of the Year from the PFWA, joining former defensive coordinators Marvin Lewis (2000) and Rex Ryan (2006).
In Harbaugh's 12th season as Baltimore's head coach, the Ravens finished with the NFL's best record (14-2) and enjoyed a franchise-record 12-game winning streak to end the regular season. Baltimore captured its second straight AFC North title, winning the division by a six-game margin, and the Ravens clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed in Week 16.
Harbaugh was the driving force in the decision to re-design the offense and to tailor the attack around the skill set of second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. While some were skeptical it would work, Harbaugh went against the NFL grain and relied on Jackson's ability as both a passer and runner to drive an offense that was versatile, unique, and difficult to stop.
Harbaugh also showed his openness to new ideas, relying more on analytics when making in-game decisions while also trusting his instincts. The Ravens became the NFL's most aggressive team on fourth down with much success. They were a perfect 8-for-8 on fourth-and-one during the regular season, staying on the attack in situations when many teams would have punted or settled for a field goal.
Harbaugh has led Baltimore to eight playoff berths, including the 2012 season when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. He is the winningest coach in franchise history (118-74 regular season, 10-7 postseason) with only one losing season. Only three active NFL head coaches have a longer tenure – Bill Belichick of the Patriots (2000), Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints (2006), and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers (2007).
In his first year as offensive coordinator, Roman was the play-caller for the league's highest scoring attack that averaged 33.2 points. In an era when potent passing attacks are prevalent, the Ravens set the NFL single-season rushing record (3,296 yards), topping the Patriots' mark of 3,165 yards in 1978. They became the first team in NFL history to average more than 200 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in a season.
Roman has long been regarded as one of the league's most innovative run-game designers, but the Ravens also had a lethal passing attack. Lamar Jackson led the league in touchdown passes (36), and Baltimore led the league in big plays with 142 – 98 rushing plays of 10 yards or more and 44 passing plays of 20 yards or more.
Roman has 21 years of NFL coaching experience and was an assistant line coach with the Ravens for two seasons (2006-07) under former Head Coach Brian Billick. Roman rejoined the Ravens' staff in 2017 as a senior offensive assistant-tight ends coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator last offseason.
San Francisco General Manager John Lynch beat out Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta for Executive of the Year. The 49ers had the NFC's best record (13-3) after going 4-12 last year. San Francisco made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 in part because of the talent Lynch has assembled over his three seasons as GM.
DeCosta enjoyed a highly-successful first year as general manager. During free agency, DeCosta signed two players who made the Pro Bowl – running back Mark Ingram II and safety Earl Thomas III. DeCosta's first draft pick, wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown became the team's top deep threat, and DeCosta engineered several in-season moves that contributed to the team's success, most notably his trade for Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters.
The PFWA began its award announcements Wednesday by naming Jackson both its Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.