Ravens Interview Shanahan, No Request For Norv Yet
The Ravens interviewed Kyle Shanahan for their offensive coordinator vacancy to replace Jim Caldwell, according NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and multiple other reports.
Shanahan is the former offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. He is expected to be just one of several candidates Head Coach John Harbaugh will speak with in the coming days, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Since Shanahan is coming off a strange ending to the 2013 season with Washington, in which he disagreed with his father and former Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan's decision to bench quarterback Robert Griffin III, some fans may not be high on his candidacy.
"Before you say 'I'd rather have Cam Cameron back,' let's take a look at Shanahan's entire body of work," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Prior to last season, Shanahan was considered one of the hottest NFL assistants on the rise.
At 29, he became the youngest coordinator in league history when he took over the Texans offense and led it to a top 5 ranking in total yards and passing yards the next two seasons. In 2009, the Texans became the league's top passing team with Matt Schaub at quarterback.
Shanahan took over the Redskins offense from 2010 to 2013, and generated a top-5 offense in 2012 with RGIII, who was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year under his guidance. Even in the turbulent 2013 season with RGIII coming off knee surgery, the Redskins still ranked No. 9 in offense, 20 spots higher than the Ravens.
Shanahan, now 34, is just five years older than quarterback Joe Flacco.
In addition to his success with NFL passing games, Shanahan could help rejuvenate the Ravens running game. The Ravens ranked 30th in rushing last season, and made it clear that improving that mark is a priority.
"The Ravens are not going to run the read option featuring Joe Flacco, who plays quarterback much differently than Robert Griffin III," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown. "However, the Redskins ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing despite their dismal season. Both Shanahan and his father, former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, have used zone-blocking schemes effectively in their careers."
This marks the second interview Shanahan has had for an offensive coordinator position. He was passed over by the Miami Dolphins, who gave the job to former Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor.
Other reported potential candidates for the Ravens include former NFL head coaches Gary Kubiak, Rob Chudzinski, Norv Turner and Brad Childress,and Ravens Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler.
Ravens Haven't Requested To Interview Turner
A popular candidate among Ravens fans is Browns Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner.
The Ravens may be interested in him, but they haven't requested permission to interview him as of yesterday afternoon, according to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora.
"We'll see if that changes," tweeted La Canfora. "I think he'd be a great fit there."
One team that has requested, and been granted, permission to talk with Turner is the Minnesota Vikings, who recently hired former Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer as their head coach.
"Turner is under contract with the Browns, but the team is taking a liberal approach with the coaching staff of fired coach Rob Chudzinski," wrote The Sun's Aaron Wilson.
"The Ravens have a great deal of respect for Turner, but they have yet to reach out to him for an interview. He's regarded as the top offensive coordinator available, but is known for being very attached to his offensive system."
Is Flacco Part Of OC Interview Process?
With Flacco entrenched as the Ravens' franchise quarterback for years to come, it is vital that he clicks with the Ravens' next man to lead the offense.
This fact has led to several media members wondering what his role has been in the interview process.
"Ultimately, the new offensive coordinator needs to be Harbaugh's decision, but it would be counterproductive not to have your veteran quarterback involved in the interviews in some way to offer his input on whether he thinks he can work well with a given candidate," wrote WNST's Luke Jones.
"Whether it's to offer feedback after observing interviews or to be directly involved in the questioning, Flacco should have a significant voice in helping to identify the man who will not only lead the offense,* *but also strive to make the franchise quarterback better after a disappointing 2013 season."
Confusion Over Lions Hiring Austin
Twitterverse exploded with news last night that the Detroit Lions and Jim Caldwell hired Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin to be their defensive coordinator.
But it turns out a fake Lions Twitter feed fooled everyone with the news.
"I'm told Lions very interested in Teryl Austin as their DC but no deal yet," tweeted La Canfora.
As Austin is still expected to leave Baltimore, several talked about the impact his departure will have on the defense.
"Austin is a loss for #Ravens. Lot of DBs, including Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown, improved significantly under Austin's watch," tweeted The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
If and when Austin leaves, the Ravens will have three coaching vacancies: offensive coordinator, running backs coach and secondary coach. There's potential for a quarterbacks coach also, although the Ravens did not have one last year.
An in-house candidate to replace Austin is Senior Defensive Assistant Steve Spagnuolo, according to Wilson.
Dallas Clark Unsure About Retirement
Ravens tight end Dallas Clark turns 35 years old in June, and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
He was brought to Baltimore to help fill in for the injured Dennis Pitta, but produced just 31 catches for 343 yards and three touchdowns.
The big R-word has come again, and he's mulling over whether it is time to hang up his cleats.
"I don't know right now," Clark said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, as transcribed by ProFootballTalk.com. "The body feels great.
"It's just got be the right situation. Being the third-down guy, just coming in on third down, that's tough. I love being a bigger part of the game plan and things like that. It's just gotta be the right situation, we'll see what happens."
- Hey Jamison, is there any possibility the Ravens have enough cap room to get someone like Hakeem Nicks or Danario Alexander? "I'll be interested in seeing the type of market that Nicks will get. His price would definitely dictate the Ravens' interest. With Alexander, he is coming off major knee surgery. If the Ravens would sign him, there would be no expectations with him. It would be more of a flier than anything." [ESPN]
- @CliftonBrownCSN: Terrell Suggs talking about Anquan Boldin on NFL Network - "He's in the NFC Championship, and here I am commentating on it." #RavensTalk [Twitter]
- @Ravens: #Ravens sign RB (Notre Dame). [Twitter]
- Jim Caldwell is one of 16 Ravens assistants to get a head coaching job. Here's a look at all 16. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Running back Ray Rice helps Nike unveil their Silver Speed Collection for Super Bowl XLVIII. [NFL Network]