Coach stability serves Ravens well

Coach stability serves Ravens well
December 31, 2012, 9:00 pm
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As Black Monday hit the coaching ranks in the NFL, seven teams fired their head coaches. Though Andy Reid lasted 14 seasons in Philadelphia before being canned by the Eagles, others — Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, for example — barely had time to decorate their offices before, as Dick Vitale would call it, getting the ziggy.

This isn’t the sort of thing that happens with the Ravens. Though their first coach, Ted Marchibroda, lasted just three seasons, they have had three coaches in 17 years. Compare that with some other franchises in the same time frame: Lions, 8; Redskins, 7; Bills, 7; Cowboys, 6; Browns, 6; Jets, 6.

John Harbaugh is in his fifth season in Baltimore, following up Brian Billick’s nine years. This is the sort of thing that gives a team stability, sticking with a coach. It’s one of the reasons that the Ravens have a reputation as one of the best-run franchises in the NFL.

But, you say, it’s easy to keep a coach like Harbaugh who has been to the playoffs every season. True (and I enjoy this little back-and-forth we’re having), but his success is due not just to his ability as a coach, but also to the way the club is run. The point being, Ravens fans who were calling for Billick’s scalp years before a change came should appreciate that the club doesn’t make knee-jerk moves. So if you’re a winning franchise, you don’t change coaches often. And if you don’t change coaches often, you’re a winning franchise.

Cause and effect. Effect and cause. Or circular reasoning. Take your pick.