John Harbaugh: Greg Roman Granted Permission To Speak With Browns

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been granted permission to speak with the Cleveland Browns about their head coaching job, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed, but Harbaugh stressed that it remains “business as usual” as the Ravens prepare for the postseason.

“Cleveland has put in the request. We’ve honored it, as we do with all of our guys for head coaching opportunities,” Harbaugh said as he met with the media Dec. 30, the day after the Ravens wrapped up the regular season with a 28-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens (14-2) have won 12 straight games and wrapped up the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, giving them a week off as they prepare to host a divisional round game on Jan. 11.

Harbaugh added that at this point, there have been no other requests made to interview members of his staff. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has also been mentioned as a possible head coaching candidate.

Roman is scheduled to hold his weekly news conference Dec. 31.

Harbaugh said that any interview between Roman and the Browns would take place this week but would not be a distraction for a Ravens team that plans to hold three practices this week before moving into game-planning mode next weekend once they know their divisional round opponent.

“It’s business as usual,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think that nowadays guys spend too much time putting together notebooks and preparing for interviews and all that. … You walk in there and you try to get to know each other and it doesn’t take too long.

“So they’ll be able to focus 100 percent on preparation and also take a sliver of time and go do that.”

Roman, 47, has 22 years of NFL coaching experience, including an earlier stint with the Ravens from 2006-2007, but he has never been a head coach. He has been the offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014) and the Buffalo Bills (2015-2016) before joining the Ravens as a senior offensive assistant and tight ends coach in 2017.

Known for his ability to work with dual-threat quarterbacks and design highly effective running schemes, Roman was promoted to offensive coordinator this year, and his offense has succeeded at a historic pace.

Led by Most Valuable Player front-runner Lamar Jackson, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to average 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards a game, and the Ravens set the NFL’s single-season rushing record with 3,296 yards, breaking a mark that had stood for more than 40 years.

The Browns, a trendy offseason pick to reach the Super Bowl after making a couple of key offseason additions to a roster stocked with top-five draft picks, instead finished 6-10 and fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after a season-ending 33-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Browns are looking for their sixth head coach since 2013, and their next coach will be their fourth in the past three years.


HARBAUGH: INGRAM ‘ON SCHEDULE’: Harbaugh said Ravens running back Mark Ingram had a running workout Dec. 30 and “looks good … on schedule.” Ingram, who had 202 carries for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns this year, has been dealing with a calf injury sustained in the Ravens Week 16 win at Cleveland.

Ingram also has 26 catches for 247 yards and five touchdowns. Coupled with his 10 touchdown runs, Ingram tied Ray Rice’s franchise record with 15 total touchdowns this season.

Ingram did not play in the regular-season finale against Pittsburgh but he said last week that he expects to be ready for the Ravens’ first playoff game.

JACKSON, OTHERS DEALING WITH FLU: Harbaugh said that Lamar Jackson and a few Ravens players are dealing with the flu, but he said he expects Jackson to practice this week. The Ravens will hold three practices this week before learning who their divisional round opponent will be.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Bo Smolka

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