New Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he's still in the middle of trying to figure out how much of his fingerprint to put on the offense at this point.
He admits he spent too much time earlier this week trying to figure that out, grappling over whether he should alter terminology or coach from the booth or the field.
Pile on top of that a banged-up offensive line, injured wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and other issues that have hindered the Ravens' No. 22-ranked offense.
Add it all up, and it's a tough opening gig for Mornhinweg Sunday at MetLife Stadium. But don't tell him that.
"I'm telling you now, our expectations are high -- period, done," Mornhinweg said.
Mornhinweg met with the media for the first time as coordinator Thursday. It was instantly clear that he has a different personality than the departed Marc Trestman. Case in point, he said he used to ride a motorcycle but had to stop because he drove too fast.
That's the confidence players raved about Wednesday.
So where does that confidence come from?
Much of it likely is from football experience.
"I think about the only thing I have ever done is play or coach," Mornhinweg said. "Except cleaning up a bar at night for a job in college or something."
Mornhinweg was a high school legend in Northern California, where his offensive coordinator was none other than Mike Holmgren, who went on to become a Super Bowl-winning coach in Green Bay and Seattle.
If Mornhinweg were two inches taller, he says he could have played quarterback at some big college program. Instead, the 5-foot-10 gunslinger set 89 offensive records as a four-year starter at Montana.
He injured his knee in one season with the Arena Football League's Denver Dynamite, and several years later – after stepping on a scale – realized his future was in coaching. He had already caught the bug after spending a summer with legendary San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh, and had a notebook full of Walsh's plays copied from a greaseboard.
After coaching in the college ranks for seven years, Mornhinweg took an assistant coaching job with Holmgren and the Green Bay Packers in 1995. A year later, he was named Brett Favre's quarterbacks coach and won Super Bowl XXXI. Heck of a start.
In just his third year in the NFL, Mornhinweg became the offensive coordinator of the 49ers, where he coached Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. He was hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions in his seventh year in the league.
Mornhinweg's Lions posted a 5-27 record in his two years and landed back with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent nine years and coached with Head Coach John Harbaugh. When Head Coach Andy Reid was ousted, Mornhinweg thought he would go back to the West Coast, but that's when the New York Jets stepped forward* *with an offensive coordinator offer. Mornhinweg was drawn to the bright lights.
Now, in his first game as Ravens offensive coordinator and with 22 years in the NFL under his belt, Mornhinweg is itching to be back to the Big Apple.
"We are all excited to get to New York; kind of the epicenter of the world," Mornhinweg said in his opening statement. "We are really excited about this thing."
There's a lot of buzz and excitement about Mornhinweg's energy and confidence, but he knows he and the offense will be judged on the results on the field.
He didn't have many specifics Thursday on what will change, however.
He said he could spend days talking about his attacking philosophy in the passing game, then gave little insight. When asked about the running game, he said the Ravens have to continue doing what's worked the past two weeks.
"Players are working hard, coaches are working hard," Mornhinweg said. "We have to get it done now. We have to get it done; it is just that simple."
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).