- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rick Dennison was announced as the Baltimore Ravens' quarterbacks coach. He will be listed on the team's website and media guide as the quarterbacks coach.
But Dennison isn't really going to be a quarterbacks coach. At least, that's my interpretation.
Dennison is more of the assistant offensive coordinator. He's gong to be a liaison of sorts in getting Kubiak's system in place.
Let's be honest, no one expected Dennison to be named quarterbacks coach. He played linebacker for eight seasons for the Denver Broncos. In his 19 years of coaching, Dennison has never held the title of quarterbacks coach. He spent time as a special teams coordinator and an offensive line coach during his time with the Broncos, and he served as the Houston Texans offensive coordinator for the past four seasons.
This is why Dennison won't be strictly as quarterbacks coach. Dennison even said as much.
“The last few years, being a coordinator with Gary [Kubiak] in Houston, I was predominantly in the quarterback room," Dennison said. "I know how he thinks with a quarterback, how he coaches a quarterback, having spent my time with him. But also I’m going to touch as many areas as I can. I know what kind of system he likes -- run and pass -- having dealt with it for a long time. So, I’ll try to do as much as I can to help that whole process.”
When news broke about Kubiak being the Ravens' front-runner for offensive coordinator, it was assumed Kyle Shanahan was going to be quarterbacks coach. But Shanahan apparently didn't want a reduced role after being in contention for the Ravens' coordinator job. He is now in the running for the Cleveland Browns' coordinator position.
There was never any question that Dennison was going to come along with Kubiak. They've coached together for 11 years in the NFL. ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli wrote about the close relationship with Dennison and Kubiak. Sitting in between them at Monday's news conference, coach John Harbaugh moved back and joking asked reporters whether you could see the rope that tied Dennison and Kubiak at the hip.
The perfect spot for Dennison would be coaching the offensive line, but the Ravens are reportedly committed to paying Juan Castillo more than $1 million in that role this season. It wasn't like the Ravens were going to name Dennison the "run game coordinator" because that didn't go over too well last season.
My guess is Dennison will hold the title, but Kubiak will be hanging around the quarterbacks quite a bit. Kubiak is a former quarterback and quarterbacks coach.
Harbaugh noted that the addition of Dennison gives the offense a chance to be well-organized.
"We have a chance to tie the whole thing together, and to me that’s the most important thing," Harbaugh said. "We’re going to have a chance to take the quarterback room and tie it to the running back, tight end, the offensive line, the wide receivers. And that’s what Rick is going to give us a chance to do. Having been in the system so many times before -- he’ll be an extension of Gary in the quarterback room, but also across the whole offense. That’s what got me excited about him. It’s a unique way of doing it, and it’s going to be a really effective way of doing it.”