The Ravens are looking for a new defensive coordinator, as Mike Macdonald has officially been hired as the Seattle Seahawks' new head coach.
Macdonald, 36, becomes the youngest head coach in the NFL and succeeds the legendary Pete Carroll. The Seahawks reportedly gave Macdonald a six-year deal.
Macdonald spent the past two seasons as the Ravens' defensive coordinator and led the NFL's top-ranked unit this year. Baltimore became the first team ever to lead the league in points allowed per game (16.5), sacks (60), and takeaways (31).
Macdonald's defense shut down some of the best offenses in the league in the regular season, such as the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins in back-to-back weeks, then continued that in the postseason. The Ravens defense only gave up three points to the Houston Texans and 17 points to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ravens players sung Macdonald's praises all year long as a smart coach who put his players in the best positions. On Monday, linebacker Patrick Queen said Macdonald was the best candidate available.
"I don't think anybody does it like him. Nobody cares like him. Nobody will do what he does. He will not rest until he has everything right," Queen said. "Whoever gets him, if he leaves, they're getting the best candidate out there. The guy is all around just the best person I've ever been around, coach-wise, person-wise. He really cares and truly cares about the players, the people around the organization and the fans."
Veteran outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who has played under Bill Belichick in New England and for three other teams (Lions, Dolphins, Chargers), also raved about Macdonald.
"If he gets a head-coaching job, he's going to be really, really good," Van Noy said. "Very solid coach, [who's] very good at Xs and Os [and] very good at communicating and getting the team galvanized in the right direction for the main goal – and he loves football. … I expect big things out of him."
Macdonald started as a Ravens coaching intern in 2014 and worked his way up Baltimore's coaching ladder for seven years before leaving to become the University of Michigan's defensive coordinator. Head Coach John Harbaugh brought him back to Baltimore just one year later, where Macdonald again thrived working with Harbaugh and his staff building a versatile scheme and calling plays.
Now Harbaugh will be hiring his third defensive coordinator in four years. He has several strong in-house candidates that include Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach Anthony Weaver, Secondary Coach Chris Hewitt, Defensive Backs Coach Dennard Wilson and Inside Linebackers Coach Zach Orr. All have interviewed for defensive coordinator or head coach openings (Weaver with Washington) elsewhere.