Joe Flacco stood at the podium Wednesday, two days after his offensive coordinator got canned, and in a muted tone, did what quarterback's do: took responsibility.
"I'm the guy. If there is a guy to look at, it's the quarterback," Flacco said, via the Baltimore Sun. "That is where a lot of that comes from."
Taking accountability for a man losing his job is the noble move and creates fewer waves. It's what we expect from most of today's robotic quarterbacks.
Examining the situation further, however, shows John Harbaugh placed the blame properly on the shoulders of the man calling the plays.
Despite averaging 6.7 yards per carry in the first quarter of the Week 5 loss to Washington -- with Terrance West dashing for big gains -- the Ravens ran just eight rush plays the in the final three quarters. Baltimore never trailed by more than just six points. The deviation from the running game made zero sense. It also wasn't new.
Since Trestman became the offensive coordinator in 2015, the Ravens fell from 126.2 rushing yards per game to just 94. Baltimore got statistically worse across the board, including dropping 5.5 points per game from the Gary Kubiak-led offense.
The Ravens' 216 pass attempts this season are the most in the NFL -- and most through five games in franchise history. With a big-armed Flacco under center, you'd expect many of those to be deep heaves to Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace. Not so. Flacco's 5.9 yards per attempt is tied for fewest in the NFL with Blaine Gabbert.
Trestman's game plan didn't match the personnel.
Players were careful not to trash Trestman, but the underlying sentiment seemed to acknowledge change was needed.
"Marc Trestman is a great guy, a great coach. It was difficult to see him go, but I think it was something that this offense needed," said Ravens veteran tight end Dennis Pitta. "We were in kind of a bad place. It didn't seem like we were getting out of it. Hopefully, this will spark us. Marty is a great coach, and we have a lot of faith in him. He brings an energy and an excitement to our offense that we needed."
Added Flacco: "I feel bad that we haven't been who we wanted to be. We definitely need to be better than we are."