Potential Ravens Offensive Coordinator Candidates

Baltimore Ravens Coaching Staff
Rob Chudzinski

With offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell being hired today as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions, the Baltimore Ravens need a new offensive coordinator.

This new offensive coordinator will be the third in as many years for the Ravens. Cam Cameron was fired late in the 2012 season with Caldwell taking over. Caldwell then was the offensive coordinator for all of this season.

Here are some candidates to look out for as the Ravens decide who to hire. (Note that the candidates here are listed in alphabetical order, not the order of how likely I think they are to be hired.)

Juan Castillo
The most unlikely on this list is Castillo, in fact, I’m almost certain that he won’t get the job, but I want to just quickly discuss him. Spending this season as the run game coordinator, he was recently promoted to offensive line coach for the upcoming season. Due to this title, many people have blamed him for the reason why the Ravens’ run game struggled this season. With that being said, it is highly unlikely that he gets the offensive coordinator title as there is talk that some of the players aren’t fans of Castillo and that this move would be unpopular in the locker room. Put that all together—plus the fact that he has never been an offensive coordinator before—and it is very doubtful that he gets the job.

Rob Chudzinski

Rob Chudzinski

Courtesy of ICON SMI

As the head coach of the Cleveland Browns this season, the Ravens faced Chudzinski twice this season going 1-1. Soon after week 17 though, the Browns fired him after just one season at the helm (4-12 record).

An offensive coach his entire career, he has spent time as the offensive coordinator for the University of Miami (FL), the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers. Most recently he was with the Panthers and his offense ranked 12th overall including 16th in passing yards, ninth in rushing yards and tied for 18th in points per game.

Now out of a job, he would be a good fit for the Ravens as he has had success before as a coordinator at an NFL level and has experience within the AFC North. While he has no major ties to the Ravens coaching staff, it wouldn’t be unlikely to see him come to Baltimore.

Jim Hostler
Currently, Hostler is the Ravens’ wide receivers coach and is the only in-house candidate that has a real shot at the job.

The wide receivers coach for the past six seasons, the Ravens wide receivers have had a mixed bag of results in terms of development. Number one receiver Torrey Smith stands out the most in terms of success, but other than that, no receivers have really honed their game with the Ravens recently.

Hostler does have experience as an offensive coordinator, though it wasn’t a good one. In 2007, he became the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers and their offense that year was a complete failure. They ranked last in total offense, passing yards and points per game while 27th in rushing yards. Publicly criticized by some players, he was quickly fired after the season was over and soon joined the Ravens.

If the Ravens decide to promote from within, then Hostler is the man. However, based on his prior experience as an offensive coordinator, it seems unlikely that the Ravens will hire him.

Gary Kubiak
Like Chudzinski, Kubiak was a head coach this season (for the Houston Texans) before getting fired. After eight successful seasons with the Texans and a 2-11 record (he was fired with three games left in the season), the team decided to part ways with the coach that brought them to the playoffs for the first time.

Also like Chudzinski, Kubiak has been an offensive coach his entire career. He has 10 seasons of being the offensive coordinator in Denver for Mike Shanahan, he was hired by the Texans to be their head coach. During his time in Denver, his offensive helped lead the way to two Super Bowl victories. He also coached running back Terrell Davis during his MVP season in 1998.

Know for his zone-blocking scheme on the offensive line, Kubiak would fit in with the Ravens current offense as they have ran this scheme for the past few years now. With 10 years of prior experience as an offensive coordinator, he would be an excellent addition to the Ravens staff if they were able to hire him.

Ben McAdoo
*UPDATE*  The New York Giants have hired McAdoo to be their new offensive coordinator. Before this happened, the Ravens did request permission to speak with him, but it seems that was too late.

Having already interviewed for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator spot and the Cleveland Browns head coaching spot, McAdoo has already made some rounds in a job search.

He spent this season on the staff of the Green Bay Packers as their quarterbacks coach after being their tight ends coach since 2006. The 36-year old is considered to be a rising star on the offensive side of the ball and is likely to become a coordinator at some point this offseason. Being with the Packers since 2006 (when they hired current head coach Mike McCarthy), is a positive as they have developed into one of the better offenses in the league since then. Most of this is due to having one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Aaron Rodgers, but the offensive staff in Green Bay is also top-notch.

Due to connections in Miami (head coach Joe Philbin is the old Packers offensive coordinator), I expect McAdoo to become the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. However, there is a chance this doesn’t happen. If that is the case, then the Ravens could interview him for their job.

Al Saunders
A long time football coach, Saunders has been coaching since 1970 and has spent time as a head coach, offensive coordinator and various other coaching positions on the offensive side of the ball.

One of these positions was as an offensive consultant for the Ravens from 2009-2010. In the time with the Ravens, he spent time with quarterback Joe Flacco and Flacco is reported to have really like Saunders during his time in Baltimore. Since Flacco is the Ravens’ franchise quarterback, it would make sense that the Ravens would hire someone that would have a good relationship with Flacco as the offense revolves around him now.

Due to this prior connection with the Ravens, expect Saunders to be talked about as a candidate for the job in the coming weeks. The last time that he called plays was in 2011 with the Oakland Raiders where they ranked ninth in total yards, 11th in passing yards, seventh in rushing yards and 16th in points per game. If he does get the job, it is likely that he would keep the same system that the Ravens already have in place.

Norv Turner
An experienced play caller, Turner is likely one of the favorites to get the job with the Ravens. He spent the last season as the offensive coordinator under Chudzinski for the Browns.

This past season, the Browns ranked 18th in total yards, 11th in passing yards, tied for 27th in rushing yards and 27th in points per game. However, the Browns’ offense lacked a starting-caliber quarterback this season and had holes at wide receiver and running back. Considering the players that they had, he did a good job with the offense.

Ever since 1991, he has been a head coach or an offensive coordinator in the NFL, so he brings a lot of experience to the table. He also runs a variant of the offense that the Ravens currently run so the transition to his offense shouldn’t be too hard. One of the main components of his offense is the deep pass and the Ravens have a perfect quarterback for that system in Flacco who has one of the strongest arms in the entire league.

Overall, I would say that Turner is one of the leading candidates for the Ravens job in this very early stage of the process. He has been linked to the job in the past and would be a good scheme fit for the Ravens.

Jim Zorn
Up last is Zorn who has spent some time on the Ravens staff before and has been involved involved with football at a professional or collegiate level since his playing career started in 1975. He then started coaching in 1988 after he retired.

With the Ravens, he spent one season (2010) as the team’s quarterbacks coach. In this season, Flacco had probably his best season to date has he threw for 3,622 yards, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, completed 62.6 percent of his passes and nada quarterback rating of 93.6. He set career-bests in yards, touchdowns, interceptions and quarterback rating. While the yards record has been broken and interceptions tied, his touchdowns and quarterback rating have never reached the same level again.

Flacco and Zorn had a good relationship and it is reported that Cameron had Zorn fired because he didn’t like how close Flacco and Zorn had become. Because of the success that Flacco and Zorn had together in 2010, Zorn could be a top candidate for the offensive coordinator job. He has never been an offensive coordinator at an NFL level, but he has been a head coach for two seasons and a quarterbacks coach for numerous years. He has been around the NFL for long time and was able to get Flacco to produce arguably his best season as his quarterbacks coach.

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