Ray, Schottenheimer, & The Search

January 08, 2008 |

As I sat in with Mark Suchy last Saturday between 1-4 p.m., it became apparent to me that Ray Lewis might be the next target of Ravens Nation. Now that public enemy no. 1 in the fans’ view (Brian Billick) is gone, the anger of the Baltimore fans may start turning towards its star player. Right or wrong, Lewis is seen as one of the people who led to the firing of Billick.

For a year or so, the new coach will enjoy a honeymoon phase especially if the offense turns around. Sure the quarterbacks will get their share of the blame; they along with the head coach always get their disproportionate part of the blame. However, if the purple and black continues to struggle, continues to show some dissension or continues to be poor losers, you could see Lewis become the next in line—the firing line that is.

Can’t happen you say? I got two words for you, Eddie Murray. Remember how Murray’s popularity dropped when the Orioles struggled in the late 80s after a championship run?

Like Billick, it’s only natural for Lewis to become a target; he has been the face of the franchise. He is outspoken and lately very critical at times. Plus he has now been here for 12 years, three years longer than Billick. This will be especially true if a perceived Lewis candidate like like Rex Ryan or Mike Singletary gets the job.

Schottenheimer Squared: Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer interview yesterday as a possible head coaching candidate. Schottenheimer, 34, is the son of former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. He has been with the Jets for two years and has been an NFL coach for eight years.

Wonder if the Ravens are thinking of this as a two-for-one deal? Young Schottenheimer gets the job and then adds his dad to the squad as a assistant head coach. Marty, works in the background game planning and advising young Schottenheimer for a couple of years.

Week of January 21: Look at the week of January 21st as a possible time for the Ravens to name their new coach. It’s the bye week between the AFC/NFC Conference Championships and the Super Bowl and the week of the annual College Senior Bowl. The NFL frowns on announcements the week of the Super Bowl (Jan. 28-Feb. 3). Plus, the Senior Bowl is like baseball’s winter meetings were assistant coaches and wannabe assistants interview for jobs. 

I am sure the Ravens brain trust would like to free up Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta to turn their attention to scouting college seniors that week. With a new coach in tow, they could begin to scout players to fit a new system.

The one hiccup could be if the Cowboys advance to the Super Bowl and their assistant coaches Jason Garrett or Tony Sparano is the Ravens’ choice. Then we might have to wait until after the Super Bowl for an announcement.