The Baltimore Ravens decision to can offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and hire former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell in his place during the 2012 regular season was seen as a catalyst in the Ravens Super Bowl-winning season. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and the rest of the Ravens offense started to hit its stride following the move, but Caldwell has since moved on. After the Detroit Lions lost out on top candidate Ken Whisenhunt, who surprisingly picked the Tennessee Titans, the Lions turned to Caldwell and decided to hire the Ravens offensive coordinator. I’m sure they were impressed with Caldwell’s ability to coach up quarterbacks, since their main goal was to hire a head coach who can help take talented QB Matthew Stafford to the next level. Plus, Caldwell went into the Lions interview with a plan about how to make Stafford better.
Now John Harbaugh have to replace Caldwell, and it looks like they have zeroed in on two candidates. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Ravens will conduct second interviews with former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, as well as current Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson. Shanahan’s interview with the Ravens will occur today, whereas the rival RBs coach will speak with the organization tomorrow.
Both coaches would be strong hires for the Ravens, but it is important to note that Shanahan was part of a very messy split with the Redskins. There is so much news out there regarding what happened in D.C that it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction, but what is clear is that Shanahan knows how to coach up offense and is especially good at working with skill position players. Some of his intangibles have been put into question following his departure from the Redskins, but there’s no questioning his talent. I think that known talent trumps character concerns any day.
It will be interesting to see if Wilson ends up becoming the favorite for the gig, since poaching a position coach away from the Steelers would be a nice side benefit for the Ravens.