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Ravens Culture, The Raven Way

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From Todd Schoenberger at "Drew's Morning Dish"

"Welcome to 2018, RavensNation!

Normally, this is the time for fresh starts, new beginnings, establishing goals, and optimism for the upcoming twelve-month campaign.

Well, not in Baltimore.

Nope. After Sunday’s utter disappointment, all in Charm City are left in a state of disbelief and anger. The Ravens didn’t just let its fans down; it embarrassed the city in a way violent riots and meteoric homicide rates do.

harbscreaming.jpgIs it time for the Ravens to go in another direction and bid farewell to John Harbaugh?

Think I’m being overly dramatic? Perhaps, but the Ravens bruised the city’s civic pride and the team needs to be called out on it.

First, let’s discuss the coach.

As engaging and charismatic as John Harbaugh may be, he has single-handily destroyed the culture of the Ravens. Following the SuperBowl victory, he began making moves by forcing several of the team’s key personalities and hard hitters out of Baltimore.

Harbs didn’t want the A-type extroverts on the team. Rather, he wanted…no, demanded…to be the face of the Ravens. Normally, NFL teams prefer to let its star players stand out, but Harbaugh has some kind of personal attention requirement, where he is the one-and-only mouthpiece for a team historically equipped with trash-talking savages.

He’s a classic micro-manager. A person in control of every detail rarely trusting his staff in full, guys like Harbaugh know how to manufacturer a bond with those of influence.

And the most influential person connected to the Ravens is owner Steve Bisciotti. Their relationship is more about friendship, than employer/employee. This is why Bisciotti finds it hard to make the necessary change at the top, despite another average record and repeat non-playoff berth for a once-storied franchise.

But Harbaugh failed, miserably, as a coach on Sunday. He did not have his team prepared, despite his management style being all about dotting I’s and crossing T’s. He may have focused on the details, but he made a crucial error with the one that is the most important: Always have your team ready.

A few reports are beginning to sprinkle into articles about Harbaugh being “distracted” in the days leading up to the critical Bengals game. Valid or not, the idea that stories like this would even be discussed is alarming considering what was at stake on Sunday.

If true, it would explain why the team seemed distracted in the beginning of the game. The lack of energy on the sideline was crystal clear and gave the impression the team had other things on their minds rather than football.

That’s the problem when you run your leaders off the team, though. If Harbaugh was mentally jarred from something else, he needed a player to step-up in the locker room and rally the troops.

Flacco can’t do it. C.J. prefers to play in the shadows. And Suggs—who was once a vocal antagonizer—has been silenced over the years. Many say Suggs has quieted down because of his age, but my guess is the head coach told him to pipe down and not ruffle any feathers.

The lack of player leadership is a red flag for the Ravens, and its staff. Many in the NFL must view the team as subpar, not carrying the same gravitas in the Ravens locker-room as it once did in its heyday.

NFL teams always had Ravens’ coaches on the short list when filling personnel vacancies. Other teams believed they would get the secret sauce for success when luring a coordinator or assistant to join their staffs.

Not anymore.

And as a matter of fact, when the Ravens saw their season end on Sunday, three ex-Ravens coaches were either fired or forced to resign from their head coaching jobs on the same day: Chuck Pagano, Jack Del Rio, and Marvin Lewis.

Funny, but I don’t believe any of John Harbaugh’s assistants have been hired by opposing teams since the Super Bowl season.

The reason is simple: The kindler-and-gentler version of Harbaugh’s Ravens is toxic in a league best known for violent hits and turbocharged masculinity.

Bisciotti needs to terminate Harbaugh and begin the process of culture recovery for the team. If he doesn’t, then the Ravens will be looking at another mediocre season in 2018, and beyond."

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With the right hardass QB coach who would not be conflicted with a decent hardass OC and not impaired by the HC, Joe would improve.

He is a follower that can be led so long as someone grabs the ring in his nose.


With the next year's schedule, and the firing of the HC and OC by the end of the season, a new HC may have a good QB to pick in the draft.

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I think they will miss out on the bream of Qbs.

Probably - if the past and current wisdom is any indication.


Sadly and like many businesses, it will probably take a disastrous season or campaign - getting leapfrogged by the Browns or Bengals - before the FO wakes up and smells the java. That or the Biscuit bails and we relive the 1983 fiasco.


The sooner we clean this up and restore a culture of winning - instead of 8-8 campaigns and near playoff misses - the better for all.


My two cents......

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The reason is simple: The kindler-and-gentler version of Harbaugh’s Ravens is toxic in a league best known for violent hits and turbocharged masculinitity


This was Billicks style. Swagger. His teams won 5 playoff games and a Super Bowl and then went into mediocrity

Harbaugh's teams have won 10 playoff games and a Super Bowl and now they too are mediocre.


i didn't want to see Billick go, but it was the right move.

I don't want to see Harbaugh go....and I might be wrong again.


This is a decent article with many valid points. I feel frustration and disappointment with this team. It's one more year where they hurt my eyes and brain watching them stumble through game after game. Can't start, can't finish, can't find ways to win against teams with winning records, and they can't play a game with all units performing well for 60 minutes. And yea....they embarrassed the city. They did not show up and that is as bad as you can get.

And yet there have been some great games and memorable moments. with Billick at the helm with his way and Harbaugh at the helm with his way.

Either way....swagger or no swagger.....there have been more ugly wins with both HC's.

'Play like A Raven' doesn't always mean kicking ass. Most of the time it means 'Win Ugly."

And I'll take winning any way that it can consistently happen.


And who did Harbaugh chase out that went somewhere else and played well?

Not Pollard. Not Reed. Both were liabilities their last year here. Pollard never could cover and Father Time caught up with Ed.


Something does have to change. Perhaps a lot.

It starts with talent. they have to get that first.

Then coaching. Coaches who can game plan, develop strengths and attack weaknesses and make adjustments during the game.

Not punt 5 times, kick a field goal and then punt 2 more times.

Against the Bengals!

With everything on the line.

I understand how fans want to get rid of everybody.

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Vmax-"And who did Harbaugh chase out that went somewhere else and played well?"


Not so much the "who" but the what - the raven culture, veteran alpha male part of leadership that Harbaugh doesn't wish to share nor deal with.


Evidently not only from players, but coaches too.

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Vmax-"And who did Harbaugh chase out that went somewhere else and played well?"


Not so much the "who" but the what - the raven culture, veteran alpha male part of leadership that Harbaugh doesn't wish to share nor deal with.


Evidently not only from players, but coaches too.

Correct. Apparently it was these alphas who were team leaders and got the team playing up to its potential. After they left the coaching couldn’t provide the same leadership.


They may have had their best days behind them but their motivation and leadership were still there.

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He came back last week. HE was quite vocal then. Then they lose and the team makes dumb mistakes and he is quite. How bandwagon of him.

He came back because his family was watching the game together to honor a lost loved one. He came back to here just to stqy in touch with us, his friends. Crav is not a bandwagon fan.

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I pretty much have to agree here. Has Harbaugh reached that 7 year high? Have the players stopped listening to him? I don't know, I really don't. I'm not in that clubhouse. But the team seemed to stop playing after week 14. A dismal showing at home vs. the Colts. Then the Cincy game, again at home was horrendous. I like John Harbaugh, but SteveB. has to be wondering too. The Ravens are expected to come out healthy at the start next year, as expected. I disagree only on one point. I believe that they DO have good players. So, that said, I believe that would be an important factor in the owners decision to bring him back. But, I would bet my house that John has one more year only to turn it around and go deep into the playoffs. Injuries will beat any team.

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