Questions with Harbaugh's statement on OC

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
4:00
PM ET
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh released a statement through the team about the search for the next offensive coordinator and the departure of Jim Caldwell. Because Harbaugh didn't deliver this in a news conference, there was no chance for follow-up questions. So, I will provide them here ...

Harbaugh's statement: "We will be interviewing coaches inside and outside of the building. We’re confident that whether we select someone currently on our staff or from another team, we will have a coach that best fits what we want to be, where we want to go and understands what Ravens football is all about."

My question: Why interview coaches inside and outside the building? In the past, Harbaugh never interviewed outside the organization when promoting in-house, or at least there were no reported interviews. In 2009, Greg Mattison was promoted to defensive coordinator five days after Rex Ryan was hired with the New York Jets. In 2011, Chuck Pagano was immediately announced as the defensive coordinator when Mattison went to Michigan. And in 2012, Dean Pees became the defensive coordinator two days after Pagano was hired by the Indianapolis Colts. The fact that Harbaugh is looking outside the team likely doesn't bode well for someone like wide receivers coach Jim Hostler. This is my interpretation from how it played out in the past.

Harbaugh's statement: "I have a profile in mind, and we are excited about the coaches who have shown interest in the job. One of the positives with the change is that we’re reminded that this franchise – and team – is attractive to many in the profession. We will have a coaching staff that will get the most out of our players.”

My question: What exactly is that "profile"? And does that profile include having a rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco? That leads me to another question: Will Flacco be involved in any way during the interview process? The Ravens have been down that road before when Flacco hasn't had great communication with the offensive coordinator (see: Cam Cameron).

Harbaugh's statement: "We’re disappointed that we’ve lost Jim [Caldwell]. We were looking forward to making progress on offense with Jim leading the charge as coordinator."

My question: Does this mean Caldwell was definitely returning as offensive coordinator if he didn't get the Lions' job? It was my impression that Caldwell wasn't committed to being an offensive coordinator for the long term. And there were questions whether the Ravens were committed to bringing back Caldwell after the Ravens finished 29th in the NFL in total yards. Of the six lowest-ranked offenses in 2013, half of the teams made changes at offensive coordinator before Caldwell was hired by the Lions.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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