As Head Coach John Harbaugh dove into the project of finding his next offensive coordinator after Gary Kubiak left for Denver, one coach he wanted to talk with was Adam Gase.
Gase is now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and will be on the M&T Bank Stadium sideline this Sunday, but he interviewed for the Ravens' offensive coordinator opening in January of 2015, not long before Harbaugh hired Marc Trestman for the position.
"It was a great experience for me," Gase said Wednesday. "I really enjoyed being able to talk football with Coach Harbaugh. It was a late night, I know that."
Harbaugh squeezed in a late-night interview with Gase, who was under pressure from other teams to make a decision on where he would go. He was a hot name after two successful seasons as the Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator, but needed to find a new home after Kubiak brought his own team to Denver.
Gase said he arrived at Harbaugh's office at about 10 p.m. and spoke with Harbaugh for three hours. Harbaugh drove him back to his hotel at about 1 a.m.
"The fact that he did that to at least give me an opportunity to interview there, that's something I'll always be appreciative of," Gase said.
"He came in and I just feel like we hit it off," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "We had a great time talking football philosophy. I loved the way he thinks. I loved his style, loved his energy. I just felt like he was really one of the top coaches I've talked to in an interview type setting. I really enjoyed it."
Harbaugh indicated that one reason he leaned toward Trestman was that Trestman had a chance to stay in Baltimore longer. The Ravens had four different offensive coordinators between 2012 and 2015, and Harbaugh wanted consistency.
"It would have been great to be able to bring [Gase] here, but I think we knew at the time that he was destined to be a head coach very soon, and obviously he is doing a great job with that," Harbaugh said.
Gase ended up agreeing to be the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator for the 2015 season* *the day after the Ravens announced the hiring of Trestman. The Bears finished 21st in the NFL in yards per game (344.6) while the Ravens were 14th (359.3).
Still, Gase had still built a strong enough reputation to earn his first job as a head coach – at any level – the following year in Miami. Just as Harbaugh predicted, it was one year in Chicago and out.
Now Gase is leading the AFC's hottest team, which has reeled off six-straight wins and sits at 7-4. He credited a shift in maturity, leadership and accountability for the turnaround.
So if Gase had come to Baltimore, would it have been a short stay as well?
"It's hard to predict anything ever, just because you never know what's going to happen," Gase said. "You never know how the health of your team is going to be, you never know the results or anything. There's no point to thinking about it."
There definitely would have been one problem if Gase came to Baltimore. He's married to the daughter of New Orleans Saints Linebackers Coach Joe Vitt. Vitt played football at Towson State, so the family vacations in Ocean City, but Gase doesn't eat crabs when he's there.
"I don't mess with the crabs," Gase said. "I get crushed on this all the time when I'm in Ocean City that I won't eat crabs. I don't know what it is. I hate to say it, I'm not a huge seafood guy, so that gets me in trouble in Louisiana and Maryland."