Harbaugh: "That ends that and that stings."
It will be a black Monday for Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Not because he will lose his job, like some coaches around the NFL. But Harbaugh had never experienced missing the playoffs during his first five seasons as a head coach. Knowing he would be watching the playoffs next weekend was new territory for Harbaugh, following Sundya’s loss to the Bengals. It was a feeling Harbaugh does not want to get used to.
“We’re not ever going to be content with not making the playoffs,” Harbaugh said. “That’s just not something that’s going to be Ok, with me personally, with(general manager) Ozzie (Newsome), or any of us, any player here. That’s what makes it tough. We expect to do that. We fight like crazy to do that every single year.”
Harbaugh will have some tough decisions to make, like whether to keep his coaching staff intact, or make changes. Both offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, and run game coordinator Juan Castillo have been under scrutiny for the Ravens’ offensive problems, but Harbaugh took responsibility for the Ravens’ failure to make the playoffs.
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“If we’re not good enough, we’re not good enough,” Harbaugh said. “The fact that we weren’t good enough this year to get it done, that’s something we got to address. That starts with me. I’m responsible for how good the team is. And I’ll take responsibility for it 100 percent. No player needs to take responsibility for that, and nobody else does.”
The Ravens become the latest Super Bowl winner that to fail to win a playoff game the following season. For Harbaugh, the challenge no longer is defending a championship. The challenge is to figure out how the Ravens can become contenders again.