Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made a bold move after the 2022 season when, in the midst of a lingering contract standoff between the team and star quarterback Lamar Jackson, Harbaugh fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman and hired Todd Monken from the college ranks to replace him, as Monken had just helped Georgia to back-to-back national titles as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator.

Though many Ravens fans and pundits were on board with Harbaugh’s decision to dismiss Roman, believing the team had grown too averse to calling passes in his scheme, it was still a gamble since Jackson had won an MVP with Roman and had yet to sign a new contract with Baltimore. But Jackson ultimately did just that — and then won his second NFL MVP in his first year in Monken’s offense. (Roman was also recently hired by Harbaugh’s brother Jim as the Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator.)

The Ravens finished with the best regular-season record in the NFL, ranking sixth in total offense and fourth in scoring offense in their first year with Monken running the unit. Though Baltimore fell agonizingly short to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game, comments John Harbaugh made this week at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine may put some fear into the rest of the NFL.

“We’re just starting,” Harbaugh told reporters, via ProFootballTalk. “We’re one year into this thing. There are so many things that I feel like, looking back on it now, they actually were baby steps. They were hard steps for us to take, because it was a sea change in terms of offensive philosophy, but they were baby steps looking back on them. We have so, so far to go.

“I met with Todd. I met with all the coaches individually. I met with Lamar a couple of days after that. I met with different players, and we have a direction right now on where we want to go. We want to be tight. We want to be locked in. We want to understand how this offense applies to Lamar and our players, and we want to do right by our players, and we want to do right by Lamar and build the best operation that we can for him so his talents can really shine. I think we’re just starting with that.”

Even more encouraging to Ravens fans, Jackson is now locked in on a long-term contract for the next several years, and leading 2023 wide receiver Zay Flowers is coming off his rookie year. Plus, the team stands to get a boost from returns to full health by top tight end Mark Andrews and first-string running back J.K. Dobbins. Andrews suffered an ankle injury in Week 11 last season and did not return until the aforementioned AFC title game, while Dobbins missed virtually the entire 2023 season after tearing his Achilles in Week 1.

But Andrews is now completely recovered from his injury, while Dobbins appears well on his way per a recent video he released on his social media.

However, the Ravens also face big question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald left to become the next Seattle Seahawks head coach, and several key members of what was the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense in 2023 are set to hit free agency, including linebacker Patrick Queen and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, meaning that tough decisions are in the offing for Harbaugh, general manager Eric DaCosta and new defensive coordinator Zach Orr.

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]

National Football League

Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *