Harbaugh among longest-tenured coaches

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
3:00
PM ET
In the wake of five NFL head coaches getting fired, it's a good time to put in perspective the stability brought by coach John Harbaugh's success.

In completing his sixth season, Harbaugh is tied with the Atlanta Falcons' Mike Smith as the seventh-longest tenured head coach. Yes, just after six years.

Only New England's Bill Belichick (hired in 2000), Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis (2003), New York Giants' Tom Coughlin (2004), Green Bay's Mike McCarthy (2006), New Orleans' Sean Payton (2006) and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin (2007) have been with their teams longer.

Since Harbaugh took over as the Ravens in the 2008 season, there have been 38 coaches fired in the NFL. There have been eight teams who have fired two head coaches during that span (Buffalo, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington).

Over the past six seasons, Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to three AFC Championship Games and four teams have fired three head coaches (Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa Bay).

For the first time in his NFL coaching tenure, Harbaugh didn't finish with a winning record and didn't lead the Ravens to the poseason. He fell one season short of tying Bill Cowher for the most consecutive playoff berths to begin a coaching career since the 1970 merger.

"We’re not ever going to be content with not making the playoffs," Harbaugh said. "That’s just not something that’s going to be OK, with me personally, or any of us -- Ozzie [Newsome, general manager], or any of us, or any player here. That’s what makes it tough and disappointing. We expect to do that."

Harbaugh added, "If we’re not good enough, we’re not good enough. And that fact that we weren’t good enough this year to get that done, that’s something we’ve got to address, and it starts with me. I’m responsible for how good the team is. I’ll take responsibility for it 100 percent. No player needs to take responsibility for that -- nobody else. So that’s what we’ll have to go to work on now going forward to get back to where we need to be.”

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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