Interview them all, I say…

January 03, 2008 | Drew Forrester

Who’s getting the Ravens’ Head Coach job?  Who knows.

Who should be interviewed?  Everyone that wants to be interviewed.

Now that word has circulated (before they really even called him to ask if he’d be interested) that Bill Cowher is not interested in getting back into coaching in 2008, the Ravens best-candidate-available is, well, no longer available.  They absolutely WOULD have offered Cowher the job if he would have been interested in coaching again.  The press conference would probably have been today…it would have happened that quickly.  But, Cowher’s not an option now – so who’s the team going to bring in and talk with about their coaching vacancy?

Mike Martz?  Interview him.

Marty Schottenheimer?  Interview him.

I bring those two names up specifically because there will be a lot of discussion about "no retreads" and the like…I say, "Interview them all".

Pittsburgh football people no doubt said, "Mike who?" when Mike Tomlin got hired last year.  He was their very last interview.  In fact, he was so much "last" that Russ Grimm says the Steelers told him the job was his.  And it was reported as such.  And then, Tomlin got what many thought was nothing more than a friendly, "we’ll-do-this-so-you-get-interview experience" look-see and Tomlin wound up getting the job. And, today, it sure looks like a good hire.

As for the Ravens, the typical hot-shot candidates are out there and available for wooing both in Baltimore and in other coaching-vacant cities like Atlanta and, now, Miami. 

Jason Garrett?  Interview him.  Jim Caldwell?  Interview him too.  Josh McDaniels?  Bring him in as well.

Bring them all in.

Sure, Rex Ryan just needs to walk down the hall for his interview and there’s not a whole lot of in-depth discussion the Ravens need to have with him.  They know what they’re getting with Rex.  And that could be good for him, or not so good for him.  When you’re hiring someone new, there’s a certain mystery that goes along with it —  "I wonder what THIS guy (or gal) could do for my company?"  With Rex, there’s not much mystery.  And, like I said, that could be good for him, or bad for him.

As a side note, if I were advising Rex I’d tell him NOT to take the Baltimore job.  Of course, if he didn’t get a look somewhere else, and the Ravens gig was the only one available, I might have to re-counsel him and suggest he go ahead and settle for the position in Charm City.  But, given a choice of jobs – say, in Atlanta or Miami – I would tell Rex he needs a FRESH start where his voice is totally FRESH.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think he can’t be a good coach in Baltimore if they decide to hire him.  It means I think he would be off to a better start in his coaching career somewhere else.

One other thing about Rex.  To what degree do the Ravens value his involvement with their organization "going forward"?  If that value-level is high, the only way you might get him to stick around is by giving him the big gig.  I don’t know this for sure, but I’m willing to bet that Rex would NOT want to return as the team’s Defensive Coordinator if he’s passed up for the Head Coaching vacancy. 

Jim Schwartz of the Titans?  Interview him.

Someone called in to The Comcast Morning Show today and said, "How about Dennis Green?" – I hadn’t thought about Dennis Green but here’s the answer I gave on the air: Interview Dennis Green, too. 

Interview them all.

Well, ALMOST all of them. 

Personally, I wouldn’t want to see the Ravens hire a college coach, although I’m hearing from Owings Mills that the Ravens candidate-list has "a handful" (what’s that mean, 5?) of college coaches on it. 

I don’t think a college coach is the way to go. 

Other than that, though, I’m open minded to ANYONE that has the experience at the NFL level to take over this team and guide it through what will most certainly be a bumpy, not-paved road of transition. 

I think the Ravens will make the right call on the Coach, no matter who it is they decide to hire.  There are too many really good candidates out there for them to botch it up.  Ed in Pikesville called and said, "It’s not like the Ravens will hire a Phil Regan guy the way the O’s did in the mid ’90s."  CORRECT.  The Ravens will NOT hire someone that makes us all scratch our head and say, "What the hell?…" 

They WILL hire the right guy.

That’s not to say that everything is going to be fixed right away.  Jason Garrett can get the job in Baltimore but when he arrives here, he’ll be the Head Coach of a team that doesn’t have a quality NFL QB at the helm.  No matter who gets the job, they’re taking over a 5-11 team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years.  That won’t be THEIR fault, of course.  But, it will be their problem to fix.  Along with whatever new staff members they bring in, the Head Coach will be coming into a situation that is much closer to being a 3-year renovation project than it is an overnight return to the Super Bowl.  The team is, generally, getting older in key positions and there’s that Quarterback thing (again) to deal with…unless Boller or Troy Smith become Tom Brady this summer.

Let the interview process begin.  Interview them all.  Even Mike Martz.  Even, yes, Marty Schottenheimer.

Leave no interview stone unturned.

There might be another Mike Tomlin out there.

In fact, there probably is.

Let’s hope the Ravens find him.