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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Report: John Harbaugh on hot seat with Ravens entering Week 9

The Baltimore Ravens have lost three of their last four games heading into an important divisional matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and another uninspiring performance may have head coach John Harbaugh on rocky ground with the team.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Harbaugh is facing a tremendous amount of pressure this season to get the Ravens back to the playoffs, where they have not been since 2014. With a bye upcoming after Sunday’s showdown with the Steelers, Rapoport says a “disastrous defeat” would result in Ravens executives evaluating Harbaugh’s future with the team.

While a midseason coaching change is unlikely, it reportedly has not been ruled out. Last week’s 36-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers was particularly troubling for Baltimore’s brass, and it goes without saying that a 12-9 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 5 could kill the Ravens in a tight division down the stretch.

Harbaugh’s contract runs only through next season, as the Ravens chose to give him just a one-year extension last year. That would seem to indicate that they are not willing to commit to him for the distant future unless he shows he can turn the team back into a Super Bowl contender.

Baltimore has played well defensively, but their offense is still struggling despite adding wide receivers John Brown and Michael Crabtree last offseason. According to Rapoport, there is also frustration over the lack of progression from rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson.

There’s a reason we listed Harbaugh at the top of our list of coaches who were facing the most pressure heading into 2018. While he has delivered a championship to Baltimore, the expectation is to contend for titles every year and be a playoff team. The Ravens have gone three years without doing that, and coming up short again might cost Harbaugh his job.



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