It’s Time for the Ravens to Strongly Consider Dumping Greg Roman in the Wake of Wink Martindale’s Shocking Firing

The 2021 NFL season did not go nearly as planned for the Baltimore Ravens. John Harbaugh’s squad finished with a mediocre 8-9 record, placing them last in the AFC North and out of the NFL playoffs. The Ravens didn’t play up to their standard, even though injuries were a major part of the team’s struggles. Wink Martindale’s departure proves changes are coming. Could Greg Roman be the next to go?

The Ravens fired defensive coordinator Wink Martindale

The Baltimore Ravens stunned fans and the NFL when they fired defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. According to head coach John Harbaugh, the two mutually agreed to part ways. The 58-year-old coach had one year left on his contract.

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done,” said Harbaugh. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities.”

Martindale was a member of the Ravens’ coaching staff since 2012. He took over as the defensive coordinator in 2018 and held that role up until his firing. Before arriving in Baltimore, he spent time with the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos.

Martindale did some great things in Baltimore and built strong relationships with his players and fellow coaches. He developed a reputation for being an aggressive defensive play-caller. The Ravens were one of the highest-blitzing teams in the league.

Baltimore boasted the NFL’s No. 1 defense in 2018, No. 4 in 2019, and No. 7 in 2020. Injuries took a massive toll in 2021, leading to a finish just inside the top-20 (No. 19).

Why Greg Roman should be the next to go

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman talks to Lamar Jackson during a game
Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens talks with offensive coordinator Greg Roman during loss to the Miami Dolphins | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Wink Martindale’s firing was pretty shocking, considering what he had to work with in 2021. However, it would be no surprise to see Greg Roman get the boot next.

Roman has been the Ravens’ offensive coordinator since 2019. Before that, he spent four years and two years with the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, respectively.

Much like Martindale, Roman has done some great things in Baltimore. The Ravens featured the most prolific offense in 2019, averaging 407.5 yards per game. They had the league’s most potent rushing attack by far (206 yards per game). Lamar Jackson also won the NFL MVP Award under Roman’s watch.

The offense took a step back in 2020 but still finished in the top-10. The 2021 season wasn’t awful, especially when factoring in the missing pieces on that side of the ball. The Ravens ended the season as a top-five rushing offense with 2,479 yards and 18 touchdowns.

So why should Baltimore consider moving on from Greg Roman?

Well, the numbers don’t tell the entire story. The Ravens haven’t advanced past the Divisional Round recently, so those are pretty much empty stats. Baltimore is a run-centric team led by Lamar Jackson, but that doesn’t mean the game plan should be conservative.

The Ravens had their full complement of receiving options for most of the year. Roman has yet to open up the offense for Lamar Jackson and company. He doesn’t put his most dangerous playmakers in the best position to succeed. His situational play-calling has been poor as well, leaving too many drives stalled.

Baltimore has the talent to be an explosive offense in 2022

Like Wink Martindale, Greg Roman has battled injuries within his unit throughout the 2021 season. You can’t use injuries as an excuse for the offensive coordinator, though. The offense had the same woes at the end of the 2019 season and in 2020 as well.

The Ravens’ rushing attack thrives with a lead. However, Roman failed to adjust when the team had to come from behind. The team made strides in that department in 2021, but the offense still didn’t feature much innovation.

If Baltimore opts not to retain Roman for the 2022 season, it should want to bring in a coordinator who will open up the offense. Underutilized weapons like Devin Duvernay and James Proche need more opportunities to make plays. Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, and Rashod Bateman round out a solid receiving corps.

The most exciting aspect of Baltimore’s offense moving forward is once again the running game. The Ravens moved the ball effectively on the ground without two of its top three rushers. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards missed the entire 2021 season. Lamar Jackson missed five games.

Baltimore’s offense has more explosive weapons heading into 2022 than it did when it was No. 1 in 2019. It’s time to turn things up a notch. Jackson must play better, and the offensive line needs fixing.

If those stars align, the Ravens could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender once again.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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