Over the last six seasons, the Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed a lot of success under head coach John Harbaugh, and you certainly can’t argue with the results.
The Ravens under Harbaugh are the only team in the NFL to make the playoffs in each of the previous five seasons. They had nine playoff wins which is the most in the NFL during that time and they are the current defending Super Bowl champions.
Try to top that. But, everything hasn’t been as smooth as the record indicates. The Ravens have had to deal with issues regarding their coaching staff in the past and present.
The situation with Juan Castillo serving over the offensive line is just the latest issue with Harbaugh, who is allowing his emotions to get in the way of business. It seems he didn’t learn his lesson from the Cam Cameron situation.
Cameron was hired by the Ravens after the terrible head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins in 2007, and ironically got his only win as a head coach with the team against the Ravens.
Harbaugh and Cameron had, and currently have a long relationship before their time in the NFL; Cameron helped Harbaugh earn his way into the coaching business in college while he hired Harbaugh as a special teams’ coach at Indiana University in the late 90s.
So as you can see, firing Cameron in the 2012 season was very hard on Harbaugh because of the emotional connection.
On defense, the Ravens made Greg Mattison (who was another friend of Harbaugh) as their defensive coordinator in 2009, after Rex Ryan left for the New York Jets.
The Ravens’ defense was still one of the best in the NFL, but they lacked the aggressiveness that they had in the past. They weren’t creative in the pass-rush, and they just lined up with a three-man rush a lot which cost the team leads, and losses at the end of games. Mattison would later leave after the 2010 season for the University Of Michigan.
Now we bring ourselves to the present, and we see the issues the Ravens have along their offensive line, and Castillo has his finger prints all over it with the Ravens trying to implement a zone-blocking scheme.
Mind you, the Ravens’ running game was not much of an issue last season, or prior to that, but they want to change it. Now Harbaugh has arguably compromised Ray Rice in the process.
Harbaugh is playing a dangerous game. I’m happy he is the head coach for the Ravens, and I hope it will continue that way for the future. But, if he doesn’t watch out, the next time one of his close assistants becomes a detriment to the team, he might not like the results.