On the eve of a pivotal game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Ravens and Owner Steve Bisciotti showed their support and confidence in Head Coach John Harbaugh.
The team released a statement Friday night announcing Harbaugh will remain the team's head coach next season, and that both sides are working on an extension to his existing contract, which is set to expire after 2019.
There has been speculation about Harbaugh's future in Baltimore, especially if the team were to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
The Ravens could be eliminated from the playoffs if they lose in L.A. and other games don't go their way, so announcing the news Friday night is a statement that the Baltimore's upper-management is happy with the job Harbaugh has done regardless of how the season ends.
John Harbaugh will continue as our head coach for the 2019 season, and he and we are working on an extension to his existing contract, which expires after the 2019 season. Baltimore Ravens
Harbaugh is in his 11th season in Baltimore since being hired in 2008. He now has a 112-77 record, including the playoffs. Those 112 wins are tied for the fourth-most in the NFL since Harbaugh was hired, trailing only the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
Harbaugh has led the Ravens to a playoff berth in six (2008-12 and 2014) of his 10 full seasons in Baltimore, and in 2012, captured the franchise's second Super Bowl title. His 10 playoff wins are tied for the third-most by any head coach in NFL history since the 1970s merger.
The Ravens have made the playoffs just once since Super Bowl XLVII, but that has been because of a wide range of factors, and Harbaugh has helped keep the team in the hunt every year except one (2015, when quarterback Joe Flacco went down with a season-ending knee injury).
The past three years of not making the playoffs have been difficult, but Harbaugh has shown strong leadership and consistently had the team ready to play. The Ravens continue to play hard, disciplined football and have a very tight locker room.
When the speculation about Harbaugh's coaching future ramped up in early November with the Ravens on a three-game losing streak and Baltimore having a 4-5 record, veteran safety Eric Weddle showed his support in Harbaugh.
"I know he's our leader, and he's going to get the brunt of it," Weddle said. "This team believes in him. We have his back. It would be unfortunate if anything happens, whether it's during the season or after. I don't think that's the right way to go."
Harbaugh has kept a steady hand through difficult times, including that stretch of the season. And now he will continue to lead as they transition into a new era next year and beyond with soon-to-be General Manager Eric DeCosta and quarterback Lamar Jackson. The move to Jackson has been handled well and worked out on the field.
After the Steelers loss, there were reports that Harbaugh could be let go after the season, or even during the bye. Those reports proved to be untrue.
"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job. It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job," Harbaugh said immediately after the home loss to the Steelers.
"I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me. We'll keep fighting, and that's what we do."