OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has gotten used to upheaval, working with five offensive coordinators in as many seasons.
This time, though, the transition should be easier with veteran quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg taking over for Marc Trestman, who was fired on Monday.
Flacco has appeared visibly frustrated with the recent play-calling and he hopes his rapport with Mornhinweg will help solve some of the issues, especially with stretching the field.
“Marty is an exciting guy,” said Flacco, who has thrown for 1,282 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. “He brings a lot of confidence to the room. He’s very sure of what he’s doing and what we’re doing. It gets everyone going. I think it gives everybody a good outlook on the game plan.”
Baltimore expected to have a more explosive attack, but faltered under Trestman. Heading into Sunday’s matchup with the New York Giants, the Ravens’ offense is ranked in the bottom half of the NFL, averaging 239.2 yards and 18.8 points per game.
Those struggles prompted Ravens coach John Harbaugh to promote Mornhinweg. It was a move widely supported by the players.
“It’s certainly got our attention, that’s for sure,” said Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, who leads the team with 28 receptions. “It’s always tough to see someone let go like that. Marc Trestman is a great guy, great coach. It was difficult to see him go, but it was something that this offense needed. We were in kind of a bad place and it didn’t seem like we were getting out of it. So, hopefully this will spark us. Marty is a great coach and we have a lot of faith in him.”
The Ravens (3-2) hope to establish more balance under Mornhinweg. Flacco has thrown more passes (216) than any other quarterback in the league. Conversely, the Ravens have run the ball 121 times for 495 yards with three touchdowns.
Flacco has also been forced to drop back behind an offensive line that has dealt with several injuries. As a result, he has been sacked 11 times. Flacco has one of the strongest arms of any quarterback in the NFL, but he is averaging just 5.9 yards per pass attempt.
“We definitely need to be better than we are,” Flacco said.
While Mornhinweg is expected to help the Ravens establish a more effective rushing game, he is known for implementing big plays. As the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets, Mornhinweg’s units were ranked in the top 10 for total offense in seven of 15 years.
Mornhinweg also has a reputation for developing quarterbacks. Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Steve Young, Jeff Garcia and Brett Favre all reached the Pro Bowl under his tutelage.
“He’s very direct, he’s very straightforward,” Harbaugh said about Mornhinweg. “One of things I’ve always admired about Marty is he is a very descriptive teacher. He paints a very good picture for the guys. That’s a gift.”
The Ravens are optimistic they can see an immediate improvement Sunday against the Giants (2-3), who are allowing 358.2 yards per game and managed a league-worst four sacks.
“We just have to do what we’re doing better,” Flacco said. “Find a little more rhythm. Take advantage of some more opportunities. So, yeah, I think we can expect to out there and play well and find success.”