Ravens confident they can improve season after bye
EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Friday during their bye week.
Two-minute topic: Will John Harbaugh’s streak of consecutive playoff appearances end this season?
Part of the NFL’s appeal is that fortunes can change dramatically from one season to the next. Look at the Chiefs, 7-0 this season after being 2-14 in 2012. Or the Vikings (1-5), a playoff team last season, but a mess at the moment.
The Ravens (3-4) are in danger of missing the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl in February. But Harbaugh, who has faced criticism lately for in-game decisions, and for the decision to hire run game coordinator Juan Castillo, remains unwavering in the belief that the Ravens will turn around their season.
“You hit tough stretches every single year in football,” said Harbaugh, who has never missed the playoffs in his first five seasons as a head coach.
“There’s no guarantee. This is tough. There’s no guarantee this year. But we have done pretty well over the last five years anytime we’ve hit a tough stretch, going back to work, dealing with the things we need to correct, overcoming adversity.
“It’s a tough league. We’re right in the middle of the pack right now. So, we can either go down, stay the same, or get better. We intend to get better.”
Asked why he remained optimistic, Harbaugh said he believed in his staff, and in his players.
“I’m always optimistic, because I know how hard we work, I know what good people we have – coaches and players – and I really believe in where we’re going schematically,” Harbaugh said. “I think we understand how to solve problems. And that’s what football is – it’s a problem solving business. There are always problems, everybody has them. And I’m confident in our ability to solve problems, and I know we’ve got the people to do it.”
Harbaugh isn’t buying talk about the Ravens not being good enough to make the playoffs this season, after all the personnel changes they made. The Ravens took a tough road to win the Super Bowl last season. After a 3-4 start, the Ravens must conquer another tough road just to make the playoffs.
Morning thought: “A lot of people are (blaming) the offensive line. It’s not all their fault. It’s not all their fault. It’s all of us as a group.” – Wide receiver Torrey Smith, talking about the Ravens’ offensive struggles.
Hitting the Links