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Harbaugh: Mornhinweg to return next season, defensive coordinator hire hopefully soon

Posted: 3:49 PM, Jan 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-04 18:31:19-05

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh’s end-of-season press conference lasted 39 minutes and wrapped up 17 weeks of football. The biggest nugget to take away is that Harbaugh is happy with his offensive coordinator. Marty Mornhinweg is coming back next season.

“We improved tremendously and we faced a great deal of adversity on offense,” said Harbaugh. “Over the last half of the season we’re the second-highest scoring offense in the league. That’s not something that you take lightly.”

On the other side of the ball Harbaugh has to replace the retiring Dean Pees. He wants continuity with his defensive coordinator too.

“We’re going to build on everything we’ve done,” he said. “It will be somebody who has been involved in this system before, for sure. Somebody either inside or somebody who is outside."

When factoring in that answer the short list includes former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and Ravens current linebackers coach Don Martindale.

Harbaugh said hopes to make the hire soon.

Looking back on the season as a whole the head coach said he is proud of his organization regarding the way they fought to put themselves in position for a playoff spot. 

A spot that was taken away by a 4th-and-12 conversion by the Bengals in the season finale.

“We called a good defense. We just didn’t play it very well. It’s football. It happens. It wasn’t played the way it needed to be played,” said Harbaugh. “He (Bengals QB Andy Dalton) dropped the ball in there into a spot that was kind of crazy.”

And what about Joe Flacco? Harbaugh thinks his quarterback’s preseason back injury played a big role in his play on the field.

“Joe did a great job in fighting through that,” he said. “The first half of the season to the second half of the season was dramatic. I think the number of interceptions, the touchdown passes, those kinds of things it’s just a dramatic turnaround. It definitely speaks to his health.”

As far as the draft is concerned and whether the Ravens will look for a quarterback, Joe Flacco’s possible replacement, Harbaugh said:

“When you have a veteran quarterback at this stage I think that’s the time you’re always looking for a young backup.” 

He did add that Joe is his guy.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerABC2 and Facebook