Ravens coach John Harbaugh has never tried to excuse the fact that Ravens’ running backs rushed the ball just six times in the AFC championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Five days after the game, he said there were ways they could have gotten the run game going, but since they were trailing, they didn’t want to eliminate run-pass option plays that could move the ball downfield.

Almost five months after the game, Harbaugh admitted the Ravens didn’t have the right answers in that game.

“Did we run the ball enough?” Harbaugh said on The Adam Jones Podcast. “Heck no, no way, especially against that defense at that time. And the plan was to go in there and run the ball a lot more than we did. So yeah, we got behind, but that doesn’t mean you stop running the ball, and I don’t think the plan was to stop running the ball. It certainly wasn’t. But we didn’t have runs to get to in the system or game plan at that time that fit with what they were doing.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

In an almost 40-minute interview with former Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones and co-host Jerry Coleman, Harbaugh discussed his thoughts on the Tom Brady roast, why the Ravens haven’t been on “Hard Knocks” and which is a better football family — the Mannings, the Kelces or the Harbaughs.

But they couldn’t avoid discussing the hard topic of the AFC championship game, where the Ravens fell short of the Super Bowl after compiling the best record of the regular season.

During a press conference at organized team activities, offensive coordinator Todd Monken said the Ravens simply didn’t execute well enough. When they did run the ball, they didn’t do it well.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“We have to run the ball better, we have to attack them the way we had planned to attack them, and I have to do a better job,” Monken said. “That’s the way it is. That’s what I’m paid to do, and that is do it against the best when it counts.”

Harbaugh told Jones and Coleman something similar.

“The big question is, going forward, how do we take the next step in this offense to make sure that we have the answers we need?” Harbaugh said. “In other words, when we want to run the ball, and they present us with certain things, how are we going to make sure we’re able to do that? How do we build the offense in a way that has the answers that we need when the defense presents something no matter what game it is, when it is, what time of the year it is?”

Harbaugh, his coaches and quarterback Lamar Jackson went to work on that right away, holding meetings as soon as the day after the loss and continuing the work through the offseason.

This coming season is just Year 2 under Monken’s system. Harbaugh is confident it will be a big step up from Year 1, and he’s pleased with the answers they’ve come up with so far. One of the big ones? Continue to give Jackson more control.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“I would say we put it more in the quarterback’s hands in terms of being able to get us to certain plays against certain looks, run or pass, when we want them, in real time after we’re at the line of scrimmage,” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh and his team still maintain they were good enough to win that game. Hopefully now, after an offseason of reflection, research and study, they’ve found the answers they need.

“I think we’ve done a good job, but we’re going to find out here pretty quick when they start playing games again,” Harbaugh said. Especially since their first opponent of the regular season is the Chiefs.

Watch the full episode here:

Watch on YouTube