Here are my suggestions for what the Ravens need to look for and whom the Ravens should interview.
First and foremost, I think Rex Ryan would make a good NFL head coach; however, I am not sure about this situation. After all, if Rex is promoted, doesn’t that just mean the whole problem was Brian Billick? Owner Steve Bisciotti said on Monday, that collectively the entire Ravens organization is a 5-11 team. If the message was stale and the front office is looking for fresh blood, doesn’t someone who has been here already for nine years seem to counter this? How long would it take for his message to become stale? If you are going to make a change, then make a total new change.
I don’t think Bill Cowher is coming out retirement yet. Marty Schottenheimer would be a great one or two year fix; however, I think Bisciotti is looking for a long term answer.
What the Ravens need is a coach that will be firm and provide more discipline. What they don’t need is a dictator like Tom Coughlin. General George Patton wannabe’s need not apply; this is football not war.
For all the winners they have on this team, the most troubling aspect is how bad this group of players reacts to losing. When things don’t go their way, there seems to be a constant amount of finger pointing and whinnying. This has to stop immediately, and the new coach must fix this problem upon taking the reigns in Owings Mills.
Secondly, don’t hire a coordinator from the offensive side, just because that has been the weakness of the club. Remember good coaches adapt and see the whole picture. Bill Belichick was a defensive genius whose team just set an NFL record for most points scored. Same goes for Schottenheimer, who always had good offensive teams. Come to think of it, didn’t offensive guru Brian Billick come over to the dark side and preside over a record breaking defense? If memory serves me right, yes he did.
So with that being said, here are three candidates that the purple and black should consider.
Jim Schwartz, Defensive Coordinator, Tennessee Titans. Schwartz has learned from Belichick (three years in Cleveland as a scout) and most prominently from Jeff Fisher. He has six years as the Titans’ defensive coordinator learning from one of the best in the league and 12 years of overall experience as a coach in the NFL. A Fisher-like personality is exactly what this team needs right now. Remember Fisher comes from the Buddy Ryan coaching tree; so Schwartz knows about pressure defense and stopping the run. The fact that he is a Baltimore native doesn’t hurt either. He’s still very young at 41 years of age.
Mike Singletary, Assistant Head Coach/ Defense, San Francisco 49ers. He would earn the respect of the players immediately especially Ray Lewis and the defense. A great motivator who has gotten some great administrative experience as assistant head coach of the 49ers, he knows some of the players on this squad. Obviously he knows how the front office works and he is familiar with the AFC North. Drawback, there is that stigma about great players not making great coaches.
Russ Grimm, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line, Arizona Cardinals: Being an ex-Redskin great and ex-Steeler assistant might make him hard for Ravens fans to swallow as head coach. But, he played under Joe Gibbs and worked underl Cowher, pretty good pedigree. He has won a Super Bowl as both a coach and player. His offensive lineman have excelled in a run system in Pittsburgh and pass system this year in Arizona. He knows the AFC North very well and would be a commanding presence much like Singletary. His physical style fits what the Ravens like to do. He didn’t have a very strong interview for Pittsburgh’s head coaching job last year.
I don’t think the Ravens could go wrong with any of these three picks. They would be the fresh voice from the outside. None of three has head coaching experience, which is a drawback, but all have very good blood lines and have either worked and in the case of Grimm and Singletary played for winners.