Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Assessing Ravens' potential OC candidates
By Jamison Hensley
The Baltimore Ravens are looking for the seventh offensive coordinator in their history after Jim Caldwell was hired to become the Detroit Lions' head coach. There will be plenty of speculation of candidates. Let's take a look at some names that will be circulating:
Brad Childress (Kansas City Chiefs spread game analyst): I don't see the Ravens taking a look at Childress, even though there's an obvious connection with John Harbaugh from their days with the Philadelphia Eagles. He's more of a quarterbacks coach than an offensive coordinator, which was the same situation with Caldwell. Childress has only been a play-caller for one NFL season, and the Vikings finished 26th in points that year.
Rob Chudzinski (former Cleveland Browns head coach): Too many red flags with Chudzinski. He was fired after one season with the Cleveland Browns, and he wasn't lauded as an offensive guru in his final season as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator. Cam Newton regressed in his second season under Chudzinski, and running back DeAngelo Williams was highly critical of Chudzinski after he was hired by the Browns.
Karl Dorrell (former Houston Texans quarterbacks coach): Dorrell has a varied resume. He was a head coach in college (UCLA, where he was co-coach of the year in the Pac-10) as well as an offensive coordinator. In the NFL, he learned under the likes of Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak. I would consider him a long shot at this point.
Jim Hostler (Ravens wide receivers coach): Hostler makes a lot of sense because hiring him would be a seamless transition. He joined the Ravens when Harbaugh was hired in 2008, so he knows the players and the coaching staff. The tough sell is his one season as an NFL offensive coordinator. Under Hostler in 2007, the San Francisco 49ers ranked last in total yards and points (13.7). General manager Ozzie Newsome, though, was very complimentary of Hostler in the "State of the Ravens" press conference.
Gary Kubiak (former Houston Texans coach): It's hard to argue with his track record. In eight seasons with the Texans, the offense ranked in the top five three times and in the top half of the NFL seven times. Before that, in three seasons as the Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator, the offense never finished below No. 7. The question with Kubiak is health. He suffered a transient ischemic attack, or "mini-stroke," on Nov. 3 while walking off the field at halftime of a loss against Indianapolis.
Bill Lazor (Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach): He joined the Eagles a year ago when Chip Kelly was hired as head coach. But interest in Lazor makes sense, according to my colleague Phil Sheridan, who covers the Eagles. This is what he had to say about him: "Lazor didn't just materialize on the Eagles staff last year. He has worked for Dan Reeves in Atlanta, Joe Gibbs in Washington, Mike Holmgren in Seattle and Kelly here. He has coached NFL quarterbacks and spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. That's a pretty varied resume. Coupled with Lazor's intelligence, it makes him a natural candidate for an NFL coordinator job."
Ben McAdoo (Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach): He's considered the hot young candidate. He's interviewed for the head coaching job in Cleveland and the offensive coordinator position for the New York Giants. But he is the favorite to land in Miami, where he has a previous working relationship with Joe Philbin.
Kyle Shanahan (former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator): Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Houston, where the offense ranked in the top five in both of his seasons there. It's just hard to forget that he played a role in the biggest implosion of the 2013 season. There's no way another team would give him a shot at offense, right? Well, the Dolphins interviewed him for their offensive coordinator job. I don't see the Ravens doing the same.
Mike Sullivan (former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator): Sullivan had mixed results in his two seasons in Tampa. He is considered a solid coach who fell into a tough situation last season, when he had a rookie quarterback and injuries at running back, tight end and wide receiver. Sullivan may have the inside track for the Giants' offensive coordinator job. He previously coached for the Giants for seven years (2004-11).
Norv Turner (Browns offensive coordinator): He was a bad head coach but he's been a great offensive coordinator. I believe Turner makes the most sense because he can make the biggest impact on Joe Flacco. For more reasons on why the Ravens should hire Turner, you can click right here. The biggest hurdle is he's still under contract with the Browns, even though the team fired head coach Rob Chudzinski. It could take until February until Turner's situation in Cleveland is resolved.