Looking at Potential Candidates for Next Offensive Coordinator
With the Ravens and Greg Roman parting ways, speculation has begun about who the team's next offensive coordinator will be.
Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated at yesterday's press conference that "a wide net" will be cast for the "highly sought-after job." Potential internal candidates include Tight Ends Coach George Godsey, Wide Receivers Coach Tee Martin, and Quarterbacks Coach James Urban.
The Baltimore Banner's Jonas Shaffer named several potential candidates from outside the organization. Here's a look at four of them:
Brian Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach
"In his 13 years as a play-caller and position coach, Johnson has helped develop two of the NFL's best quarterbacks: the Eagles' Jalen Hurts and Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott. Hurts emerged as a league Most Valuable Player front-runner in his second year working with Johnson, while Prescott, a three-star recruit in high school, earned All-Southeastern Conference honors at Mississippi State in his final two years with him."
Todd Monken, Georgia offensive coordinator
"Monken is coming off one of the most dominant showings in bowl history: a 65-7 win over Texas Christian in the College Football Playoff national title in which Georgia recorded 589 yards, 32 first downs and nine touchdowns. The Bulldogs finished the season ranked second nationally in offensive efficiency, according to ESPN's FPI, for the second straight year."
Frank Reich, former Indianapolis Colts head coach
"Reich served as offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers from 2014 to 2015 and of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 to 2017. He helped Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz earn second-team All-Pro honors in only his second NFL season, then kept Philadelphia's offense on track with backup Nick Foles through their Super Bowl run."
Bobby Slowik, San Francisco 49ers passing game coordinator
"Despite cycling through three quarterbacks, including seventh-round pick Brock Purdy over the second half of the season, the 49ers finished the year ranked third in the NFL in passing efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. Their passing offense, built around [Head Coach Kyle] Shanahan's wide-zone scheme and bolstered by maybe the NFL's most talented group of skill players, helps put playmakers in space after the catch."
Several of those names also were on The Baltimore Sun's C.J. Doon's list of potential candidates. Here's a look at four additional candidates named by Doon:
Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach
"The former wide receiver at William & Mary experienced a meteoric rise in 2019, when he served as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at LSU and helped quarterback Joe Burrow and the Tigers win the national championship behind a record-setting offense. After being named the Broyles Award winner as the top college assistant, Brady, 33, spent less than two seasons as Panthers offensive coordinator under coach Matt Rhule before being fired and catching on in Buffalo under Sean McDermott."
Thomas Brown, Los Angeles Rams tight ends coach/assistant head coach
"The former Georgia and NFL running back has worked under Rams coach Sean McVay for three seasons — first as running backs coach in 2020, then assistant head coach during the team's run to a Super Bowl title in 2021 and then tight ends coach this past season. Brown, 36, also served as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Miami (Fla.) from 2016 to 2018 under coach Mark Richt."
Byron Leftwich, formerTampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator
"A former star quarterback at Marshall and nine-year NFL veteran, Leftwich, 43, was fired earlier this week after Tampa Bay's 31-14 loss to the Cowboys in the NFC wild-card round. After starting his coaching career as an intern with the Cardinals in 2016, he followed coach Bruce Arians to Tampa Bay, where he served four seasons as offensive coordinator and won Super Bowl LV in 2020 with quarterback Tom Brady."
Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs senior assistant/quarterbacks coach
"After going 34-31 in four seasons as the head coach of the Bears, Nagy returned to Kansas City to serve under coach Andy Reid, who gave both him and Harbaugh their first NFL coaching opportunities. Nagy, 44, previously served as Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017."
Meanwhile, ESPN's Dan Orlovsky listed five potential candidates, two of whom were Johnson and Slowik. Orlovsky noted that they both run pro-style offenses, which is what Lamar Jackson played in at Louisville.
"That's what Lamar's best at," Orlovsky said. "We've pigeonholed Lamar to just being this run-only-centric quarterback. … The big thing is this: Get the passing game to be married and matched at the same level as their run game."
The three other names mentioned by Orlovsky are all college offensive coordinators: Oklahoma's Jeff Lebby; Miami's Josh Gattis; and Notre Dame's Tommy Rees.
Does the Ravens Offense Have an Identity Crisis?
When discussing the Ravens making a change at offensive coordinator on the "Move The Sticks" podcast, Bucky Brooks said he believes the team is having "an identity crisis."
"I am worried about this team trying to be something that they've never been, meaning an explosive, high-powered offense … where they attempt to be maybe high risk, high reward, and it completely undermines the way that the team has been built for years," Brooks said.
Daniel Jeremiah expressed a similar sentiment: "It's always a team and a town that's like, 'Why can't we pass it more effectively? Why can't we be like all these other teams we see that are high-flying, and big plays, and chunk plays, and scoring points in big numbers.' And then the identity of the team when they've been really good is they run the football really well, they're physical at the line of scrimmage, they play great defense. That's how they've won a couple Super Bowls. That's been their winning formula, but there seems like there's always a little bit of a push-pull where you want one thing even though the other thing might be better for you."
Harbaugh was asked yesterday whether the offensive identity will change with a new coordinator. He made it clear that the identity won't change, it will evolve.
"We've established an identity for our offense," Harbaugh said. "I think everybody knows that that plays against us and watches us play. That's important. That's a good identity. That's an identity that we're going to carry forward. I think it speaks well of the organization, the city – kind of what we're all about. Within that, the schemes that you run, the formations, the types of players you put out there, that's all kind of methodology, and you kind of work through that as you go. So I'll be looking to explore into that some more, too. Nothing's set in stone. Nothing ever stays the same. Everything changes, everything evolves. … But it will definitely be within the identity that we have for our offense."
Roman Is 'Perfect Candidate' For Titans' Offensive Coordinator Job
The Ravens will have plenty of company as they search for a new offensive coordinator, as nearly a third of the teams in the league have a vacancy at the position.
One of those teams is the Tennessee Titans. AtoZ Sports Nashville's Jack Gentry believes Roman – who said yesterday that his reason for leaving the Ravens is so that he can "explore new challenges and opportunities" – is the perfect candidate for the position.
"Though the team is expected to undergo a facelift this offseason, the Titans' offense will still implement a run-first identity in 2023," Gentry wrote. "Led by Derrick Henry and a physically imposing style in the run game, Roman would fit seamlessly into the Titans' plans next season."
That would certainly add another layer of intrigue to the Ravens-Titans game next season.