Caldwell Linked To Two More Teams
Jim Caldwell's chances of leaving the Ravens seemingly continue to rise.
Not only is he reported to be interviewing for the Detroit Lions' head coaching vacancy, but now he is expected to interview with the Washington Redskins as well, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
As a former Penn State assistant, Caldwell has also been linked to the vacancy left by Head Coach Bill O'Brien, who was hired by the Houston Texans. Caldwell was the Penn State quarterbacks coach from 1986-92.
"I would not discount the chances of Ravens OC Jim Caldwell getting the Penn State job at all. He has very strong alumni support," added CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora.
It was reported Caldwell would interview with the Lions either yesterday or today, and he is expected to meet with Redskins brass next week, according to The Washington Post. No interview with Penn State has been reported.
Lovie Smith was also expected to be a strong candidate for the Lions' gig, but he agreed yesterday to become the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before Detroit could even interview him.
"With Lovie Smith going to Tampa Bay, Jim Caldwell's chances of landing the Detroit head coaching [job] increase significantly," tweeted WBAL's Gerry Sandusky.
That may be true, as some believe the Lions are looking for an offensive-minded coach, but La Canfora believes Ken Whisenhunt, the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, is "well-positioned."
All the head-coaching vacancies are expected to be filled quickly, so it will only be a matter of time before the Ravens know whether they need to find a new offensive coordinator.
It would be the third time with a different coordinator in as many years.
"[I]t might be the right time for another change," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown.
"The Ravens struggled offensively this year, finishing 29th in total offense and reaching 30 points just once in 16 games. Putting the entire blame on Caldwell would be grossly unfair. The offensive line struggled from Week 1. Running back Ray Rice had a disappointing season playing through injuries. Flacco did not have a good season, and the offense was lacking in playmakers.
"However, Caldwell was unable to find the same success with play calling in 2013 that produced consistent results. Flacco has reached the point in his career where he may want more input with game planning and play calling."
Schmuck: Ravens Actually Overachieved In 2013
You'd be hard-pressed to find people who aren't disappointed that the Ravens failed to make the playoffs for the first time in six years.
The Ravens are disappointed, and so is Head Coach John Harbaugh, who apologized Monday for not doing so and didn't offer any excuses.
But the more The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck thinks about it, the more he thinks the Ravens actually overachieved in 2013.
To prove his point, Schmuck tried to objectively answer some tough questions as if they were asked in late July. I'll leave out his answers, and let you come to your own conclusions:
"Q: If running back Ray Rice gets hurt early on and is a shell of his former self for most of the season, will the Ravens be able to successfully navigate the top-loaded schedule that each former division champion has to play?"
"Q: So, what happens if Dennis Pitta gets hurt in training camp and isn't really a factor until late December?"
"Q: Can the Ravens get to the postseason if opposing defenses can get to Flacco regularly? … What if he doesn't stay healthy? What if some clumsy defensive lineman gets blocked into him and falls on his leg right at crunch time?"
"Q: Who's going to fill the leadership gap now that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are gone, not to mention [Anquan] Boldin and Bernard Pollard?"
"Q: So, you're saying that if Ray Rice gets hurt, Dennis Pitta misses most of the season, the offensive line is a mess and Joe Flacco spends the season as a walking hematoma, the Ravens can't make the playoffs?"
'Reluctantly' Revisiting Bold Preseason Predictions
I always appreciate when writers hold themselves accountable.
And even though he "reluctantly" did so, The Sun's Matt Vensel revisited his ten bold preseason predictions. He admittedly whiffed on a couple, but overall wasn't too far off.
I'll highlight two "laughable" predictions, and two more that were pretty close. Check out the full list here.
Joe Flacco will set career highs in passing yards and touchdowns – and interceptions"I deserve partial credit for this one. My thought process was that the Ravens would rely on the reigning Super Bowl MVP more than ever and that it might take some time for him to adjust without Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. I was right. He threw more passes (614) than he ever had in a season, in the process setting new career highs in passing yards (3,912) and interceptions (22). The part I got wrong was the touchdowns. Flacco tossed just 19 of them, his fewest since his rookie year."
Justin Tucker will make a field goal from beyond 60 yards"Nailed it. Tucker not only drilled one from 60-plus yards, he did it with the game on the line in that thrilling Monday night win over the Detroit Lions in Week 15."
Ed Dickson will play well enough to earn a nice contract elsewhere "Big whiff on this one. Dickson failed to capitalize on a big opportunity after Pitta went down and veteran Dallas Clark ended up getting most of the snaps on passing downs. Dickson finished with 25 catches for 273 yards and a touchdown. The athletic tight end will wind up somewhere, but I doubt he will arrive in a Brinks truck."
Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce will rush for 2,000 yards combined "Hahahahahahahahahahahaha."
- @Ravens: John Harbaugh on playoffs: "I'm a @49ers fan." [Twitter]
- @49ers: @Ravens Glad to have another Harbaugh on board for the #QuestForSix. Tell John to grab a headset... [Twitter]
- LOL! … Bernard Pierce exposes a man catfishing girls by saying he's a Ravens defensive back. [BlackSportsOnline.com]
- Most memorable Baltimore Ravens quotes of 2013. [ESPN]
- @TorreySmithWR: 2013 was easily the best year of my life...but 2014 can be even better!!! Can't wait for my boy to get here [Twitter]
- @Artj97: @JameelMcClain thanks bro, epic party last night! [Twitter]
- @Artj97: sunnyjean02 Happy New Years [Instagram]