Saturday, January 25, 2014
Ravens should give OC job to Shanahan
By Jamison Hensley
The Baltimore Ravens should end the drama and name Kyle Shanahan their offensive coordinator.
Shanahan is one of two finalists left in the Ravens' ongoing search after the team reportedly notified Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson on Saturday that he was no longer in the running.
If the choices are Shanahan and Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, the obvious decision is Shanahan. The Ravens need to go outside the organization to get their offense on track, and they need to go with the coach who has the most experience as a coordinator.
The biggest knock against Shanahan is his connection with the Washington Redskins' epic implosion this past season. Even with all of those problems in Washington, though, the Redskins finished No. 9 in the league in total yards with Shanahan as the offensive coordinator.
Shanahan was my pick when coach John Harbaugh named his four finalists. Wilson has never been an NFL playcaller. Hostler had one forgettable season as offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, who finished last in total yards under him in 2007. And Scott Linehan, the former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, wasn't impressive in the grooming of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who had plateaued the past couple of seasons.
That leaves Shanahan, who is young (34 years old) and has been an offensive coordinator the past six years. The Ravens could promote Hostler to offensive coordinator and try to keep Shanahan as the quarterbacks coach. But the best decision the Ravens could make is to hand over the keys to the offense to Shanahan.