Ravens Reportedly Trying to Lure Chuck Pagano Back to Baltimore
The Ravens have reached out and spoken to Chuck Pagano in an attempt to lure him back to Baltimore to be the defensive coordinator, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"It's unclear how much progress they've made in the negotiations," wrote Jeff Zrebiec and Mike Preston. "[Pagano] has maintained close ties with several Ravens officials, including head coach John Harbaugh, who hired Pagano as his secondary coach in 2008, and he's held in extremely high regard by owner Steve Bisciotti and other team officials."
Pagano, 57, was the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2011 and led the unit to a No. 3 ranking in both yards and points allowed. He was known for his aggressive defensive style and was beloved by his players.
After a taxing run as the Indianapolis Colts head coach the past six years, however, there are questions about whether Pagano wants to jump right back into coaching.
He'll still be paid by Indianapolis, as he had two years remaining on his Colts contract. He fought through leukemia in 2012, and said in September 2015 that the Colts would be the last team he coaches.
"There are no guarantees that the Ravens will woo him back to Baltimore, though that appears to be the team's focus at the moment," Zrebiec and Preston wrote.
"If they can't, they have a slew of options."
One of those options is the Ravens' current linebackers coach, Don "Wink" Martindale. The Ravens have always filled their defensive coordinator vacancy by promoting from within. Marvin Lewis was the first-ever coordinator in 1996, and the internal hires ensued from Mike Nolan to Rex Ryan, Greg Mattison, Pagano and Dean Pees.
"The Ravens value Martindale's teaching ability and have made sure in recent seasons that other teams didn't poach him off Harbaugh's staff," The Sun wrote. "Martindale has been viewed as the heir apparent to Pees for the past couple of seasons."
The report also named all the candidates we reviewed in yesterday's LFW, including Teryl Austin, Jack Del Rio, Vic Fangio, Ted Monachino and Steve Spagnuolo.
Harbaugh will hold his season-ending press conference Thursday at 11 a.m., and could announce his coaching decisions at that time.
John Harbaugh in 'High Demand' With Teams Inquiring About His Availability
Rich Eisen asked his guest and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport for the "juiciest" and "splashiest" name in terms of coaching rumors and changes that could be coming down the pike.
Well, this one certainly constitutes juicy in Baltimore … Rapoport said he had teams calling about the availability of not only Jim Harbaugh, but his brother.
"Actually, there were people interested in John Harbaugh," Rapoport says in the video below. "I had people reach out to me from other teams saying, 'Uhhhh, are the Ravens going to move on from John Harbaugh?' I'm like, 'No. … Ok, I can see where that's going.
"I think both Harbaughs were in demand. I *know *John Harbaugh would be a really strong candidate if he was ever fired by the Ravens, which he's not going to be."
Harbaugh started out with a bang in Baltimore by leading his team to the postseason in each of his first five years, winning Super Bowl XLVII along the way. The Ravens stumbled more recently, however, missing the playoffs in four of the last five years.
As such, Rapoport started getting calls about his availability. There has been zero indication that Owner Steve Bisciotti wants to part ways with the head coach he hired in 2008, however. The mere fact the Ravens are making calls about their defensive coordinator makes that clear.
Plus, Bisciotti gave Harbaugh a contract extension before the 2017 season began.
"It is a feeling of dealing with people that you have a level of confidence in their competence," Bisciotti said in October. "Right now, if I benched Joe Flacco, a bunch of people would be happy. If I fired Ozzie Newsome, a bunch of people would be happy. If I fired John Harbaugh, a bunch of people would be happy.
"I have to evaluate people on their ability to do their job over a long period of time and that doesn't satisfy short-term thinkers. That frustrates me to no end, but I understand it. I'm not telling you or anybody else how to be a fan; I'm just not going to let you influence how I'm going to be an owner."
Marvin Lewis Re-Signs With Cincy. Ya Think the Ravens Game Had Something to Do With That?
Speaking of head coaching moves, the Cincinnati Bengals shocked the NFL world yesterday by announcing they've re-signed Marvin Lewis to a two-year agreement.
The deal comes after the Bengals suffered through two consecutive losing seasons. They also have not won a single playoff game in the 15 years with Lewis at the helm. Lewis is the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, behind only Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick's 18 years in New England.
The news was even surprising to some of Lewis' assistant coaches inside the building, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. They were certain they had coached their last game under Lewis. For weeks, reports persisted that Lewis would part ways with the Bengals.
Why the sudden change?
There's probably several factors, but there's no shortage of people who think the Bengals' upset win over the Ravens in Week 17 could've had something to do with it.
Ravens Are a 'Hard Knocks' Candidate, but Jimmy Garoppolo Seems Like a Juicier Storyline
The Ravens are one of six teams that meet the criteria to be forced to be the subject of HBO's "Hard Knocks," according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio.
The other five are the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, L.A. Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.
Most NFL coaches would prefer not to do the show, as having cameras around 24/7 can feel invasive, but they'll have little say in the matter, per NFL rules, if HBO chooses them.
"So 'Hard Knocks' will have its choice of six storylines: Baltimore's attempt to get back on top after three straight disappointing seasons?" wrote Florio. "Cleveland's attempt to turn around from the worst two-year stretch in NFL history? Denver's likely quarterback competition? The No. 2 team in L.A. trying to get some attention? San Francisco and the emergence of Jimmy Garoppolo? Washington with either a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who just broke the bank, or a new quarterback after Cousins has departed for greener pastures?"
The Ravens were also candidates last year, but facility renovations prevented ideal conditions for shooting. The project continues today and isn't scheduled to be completely finished until the start of the 2018 season, but it will be far enough along for fans to attend training camp again.
It's unclear whether the Ravens could appropriately accommodate HBO this year, but it may not matter. It'd be rather surprising if Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers weren't the focus, given the blockbuster trade for the quarterback during the middle of the season and the turnaround it created for the team.