Yay Or Nay On 5 Coordinator Candidates
We're happy for Jim Caldwell as he embarks on his new journey as the Detroit Lions'* *head coach. He is a talented coach, great man and class act.
The Lions are lucky to have him, and strong references from Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning, John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome likely made that clear.
"I'm excited for Matthew Stafford & the Detroit Lions," tweeted Dungy. "I think he's going to flourish under Jim Caldwell. Lions will be a playoff team in '14."
And so now begins the Ravens' process of replacing Caldwell as the offensive coordinator.
With Caldwell having three head coaching interviews over the last two weeks, the Ravens have had plenty of time to prepare for this moment, and likely have their short list of candidates.
Will Harbaugh promote from within, as he's done the last four times he's had to replace a coordinator (promoted Greg Mattison, Chuck Pagano, Dean Pees and Caldwell)?
Or will he look outside the organization?
Well, the Ravens did [request permission](http://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/423233215344558080 ') to interview highly regarded Green Bay Packers Quarterbacks Coach Ben McAdoo, according to multiple reports, so that tells you Ravens brass is looking at more options than just internal promotions. Oh, and by the way, McAdoo was hired by the New York Giants last night, so you can cross him off the list.
BUT, there are several other solid candidates out there, and we'll run through each one-by-one with a yay or nay from ESPN's Jamison Hensley. Here we go …
Brad Childress:Kansas City Chiefs spread game analyst (2013), Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator (2012), Minnesota Vikings head coach (2006-10), Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator (1999–2005)
Skinny: Childress has a connection with Harbaugh from their days together in Philly, but he has only been a play-caller for one season despite being an offensive coordinator for four years. He has a solid reputation as a quarterbacks coach, which is similar to Caldwell.Yay or nay? "I don't see the Ravens taking a look at Childress," wrote Hensley.
Rob Chudzinski:Browns head coach (2013), Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator (2011-12), San Diego Chargers tight ends coach/assistant head coach (2009-10), Browns offensive coordinator (2007-08)
Skinny:Chudzinski was fired after one season as head coach in Cleveland, much to the surprise of his players and media. The Browns were at the top of the AFC North until quarterback Brian Hoyer tore his ACL. The Panthers ranked No. 12 in offense with Chudzinski as the offensive coordinator.Yay or nay? "Too many red flags with Chudzinski," wrote Hensley. "[H]e wasn't lauded as an offensive guru in his final season as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator. Cam Newton regressed in his second season under Chudzinski, and running back DeAngelo Williams was highly critical of Chudzinski after he was hired by the Browns."
Gary Kubiak: Houston Texans head coach (2006-13), Denver Broncos offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (1995-2005)
Skinny: During his time with the Broncos and Texans, Kubiak's offense almost always finished in the top half of the league. It even finished in the top 5 three times in Houston. He suffered a "mini-stroke" last season while walking off the field at halftime in Indianapolis, and he returned to the sidelines a few weeks later. Ravens fullback Vonta Leach, who played under Kubiak in Houston, has already shown his support on Twitter for a reunion in Baltimore.
Yay or nay? "It's hard to argue with his track record," wrote Hensley. "The question with Kubiak is health."
Jim Hostler: Ravens wide receivers coach (2008-present),San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator (2007)Skinny:Hostler has been key in the development of wide receivers Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown and is well-respected by Ravens players. He is the only internal candidate with offensive coordinator experience, but he endured criticism during his one-year stint at the post in San Francisco. The 49ers offense finished last in total yards and points scored under his watch.Yay or nay? "Hostler makes a lot of sense because hiring him would be a seamless transition," wrote Hensley. "If you're asking me who the Baltimore Ravens' next offensive coordinator will be, I would say [Hostler]. If you're asking me who the Ravens should hire as their next offensive coordinator, that's an easy answer – Norv Turner."
Norv Turner:Browns offensive coordinator (2013-present), Chargers offensive coordinator and head coach (2001, 2007-2012), 49ers offensive coordinator (2006), Oakland Raiders head coach (2004-05), Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator (2002-2003), Washington Redskins head coach (1994-2000), Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator (1991-93)
Skinny: Turner has the most experience of all the named candidates, and is respected as "one of the great offensive minds of this generation," wrote WNST's Luke Jones. The problem is that he may not be available because he is still under contract in Cleveland, but their new head coach may want to bring in his own offensive coordinator, which could provide a chance for Turner to explore other opportunities. It could several weeks before the Ravens know if he'll be available.
Yay or nay? "He was a bad head coach but he's been a great offensive coordinator," wrote Hensley. "I believe Turner makes the most sense because he can make the biggest impact on Joe Flacco."
Other names that have been floated out there as candidates include former Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan.
And CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora says former Ravens quarterback coach Jim Zorn "could make sense." When Zorn was fired by the team in 2011, Flacco made his feelings clearly known. "I'm not happy about it, and they know I'm not happy about it," he said at the time. Under Zorn, Flacco reached career high totals in touchdowns (25) and quarterback rating (93.6), as well as a career-low 10 interceptions.
La Canfora also said the Ravens could consider Raiders Senior Offensive Assistant Al Saunders, who was an offensive consultant for the Ravens in 2009. "Liked by Flacco. Could keep system,' La Canfora wrote.
And finally, this idea …
"Interesting dynamic in Baltimore will be promotion of Juan Castillo as OL coach and that dynamic w/new OC," La Canfora tweeted. "Might Castillo end up OC himself?"
The Faces Of Jim Caldwell
Thanks to the peeps at theSportsGeeks.com for putting together this little gem, highlighting the various emotions Caldwell displays.
We'll miss them all in Baltimore (mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page).
Where Flacco, Rice Land In 2008 Re-Draft
If teams got a second chance at their draft picks in 2008 with 20/20 hindsight, the Ravens would never even had a chance at their franchise quarterback and running back.
ESPN's Mel Kiper conducted a 2008 re-draft, and Flacco went from being an 18th-overall pick to No. 2 overall. The St. Louis Rams would have nabbed him after the Dolphins took Matt Ryan at No. 1.
Then Ray Rice went from being a No. 55 pick (second round) to No. 4 to the Raiders, who actually chose Darren McFadden with that selection.
"It's safe to say that the Ravens are extremely pleased [with] how the 2008 draft unfolded six years ago," Hensley wrote.
Ozzie, Eric Spotted At West Practice
The 2013 East-West Shrine Game and practice are underway in St. Petersburg, Fla., with nearly 100 NFL prospects in attendance.
It attracts a number of scouts from professional teams, but I'm not sure there are many general managers and assistant general managers actually in attendance for practice …
"Someone quipped earlier as they pointed to Ozzie Newsome & Eric DeCosta in the stands at West practice, 'No wonder the Ravens draft so well,'" tweeted Tony Pauline of draftinsider.net.
- "Caldwell is also expected to take a couple of Ravens' assistants with him, including defensive backs coach Teryl Austin, who is lined up to be the Lions' defensive coordinator, and offensive line coach Andy Moeller," wrote Jeff Zrebiec. [The Baltimore Sun]
- @adbrandt: For those asking why [Whisenhunt chose Titans over Lions], follow the money. RT @PaulKuharskyNFL: Titans over Lions: $1M more a year for Whisenhunt. [Twitter]
- @GerrySandusky: Outside the box thinking needed for the Ravens considering they have only had an offense ranked in top half of league twice in last 10 yrs. [Twitter]
- @GerrySandusky: The hiring of Jim Caldwell is a boost for the NFL's Rooney rule. It shows that if qualified people can get interviews they can land jobs. [Twitter]
- @jamisonhensley: #Ravens fun fact: Caldwell becomes first Ravens' OC not to be fired. Previous four (Cavanaugh, Fassel, Neuheisel and Cameron) were let go. [Twitter]
- @sportswcoleman: Amazed @ all the John Harbaugh detractors I hear from. Since #Ravens hired him he's won, incl SB . MOST #NFL teams would kill to get him. [Twitter]