Greg Roman: Focus Is On Ravens, Preparing For Playoffs

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he would welcome the opportunity to be a head coach, but he said his focus remains with the top-seeded Ravens as they prepare to open the postseason next weekend.

The Cleveland Browns have requested permission to speak with Roman about their open head coaching position, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh has said the Ravens will honor that request.

Speaking at his weekly media session Dec. 31, Roman said no interview had yet happened and suggested that his agent would be arranging any such details.

“All of us would probably say that we want to be a head coach. That’s what you work towards,” said Roman, who has been an NFL assistant for 22 years, including stints as an offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14), Buffalo Bills (2015-16) and the Ravens (2019).

Saying he was “grateful” that the Ravens organization welcomed his opportunity to interview for the Browns job, Roman said his focus remains on the Ravens and preparing for their AFC Divisional Round playoff game Jan. 11.

As the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC by virtue of their franchise-best 14-2 regular season, the Ravens have a bye this weekend and then will face either the fourth-seeded Houston Texans, the fifth-seeded Buffalo Bills or the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans next weekend.

“I think everything has its place,” Roman said before the team’s Dec. 31 practice. “You’ve got to be able to compartmentalize.” The coaching search, he added, “is something that is in its own box on the shelf. When that opportunity comes, it will be addressed. Right now, we have three opponents to get ready for. … My focus is certainly on our guys and our team and our offense.”

Known for his ability to work with dual-threat quarterbacks and design highly effective running schemes, Roman, 47, is in his third season with the Ravens and was promoted to offensive coordinator this year, replacing Marty Mornhinweg.

Interest in Roman should come as no surprise, as his Ravens offense succeeded at a historic level this year.

Led by Most Valuable Player front-runner Lamar Jackson, the Ravens became the first team in the NFL’s 100-year history to average 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards a game. The Ravens also set the NFL’s single-season rushing record with 3,296 yards, breaking a mark that had stood for more than 40 years.

Jackson led the league in touchdown passes with 36 and both Jackson (1,206) and Mark Ingram (1,018) topped the 1,000-yard mark in rushing. Ingram tied the Ravens single-season record with 15 touchdowns (10 rushing, five receiving), and the Ravens set franchise records for touchdowns (64) and points (531).

“I told John [Harbaugh] sometime during training camp that we would be very explosive at times,” Roman said. “I wasn’t quite sure how consistent we would be, at that point in time. … We found ways to be consistent.

“To break some of those records is a real credit to our players,” Roman added.

The Ravens finished the season ranked No. 2 in overall offense and first in scoring, rushing and time of possession.

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 coach Freddie Kitchens after a season-ending 33-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

NFL rules allow assistants of teams that receive first-round byes to be interviewed during the bye week, so any interview with Roman would have to occur this week or wait until the Ravens’ postseason run is over.

Roman said it is “humbling” to be recognized as a coaching candidate, adding, “In all due times, those things will be addressed.”

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Bo Smolka

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