By Jamison Hensley
January 21, 2008
Harbaugh has started the search for a coaching staff, a pivotal process, especially for a rookie head coach.
It is believed that the front-runners are Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur for offensive coordinator and Rex Ryan for defensive coordinator.
"There are a lot of good football coaches inside this building right now, and there are a lot of really good football coaches outside this building who want to coach for the Baltimore Ravens," Harbaugh said. "We're going to see what the best fit is for our players and what the best fit is with one another. We'll try to build strengths to other people's weaknesses and build a real chemistry on our staff. I don't think we're in a hurry to do that."
Shurmur has been with the Eagles for nine seasons, working with tight ends and offensive linemen before becoming quarterbacks coach in 2002.
But it's uncertain whether Shurmur, 42, will be available. He has a year remaining on his contract with the Eagles, who can block any move except a jump to a head coaching position.
Two years ago, when Brad Childress left the Eagles to become the Minnesota Vikings' head coach, he wasn't allowed to take any coaches from Philadelphia with him.
Another option for offensive coordinator is recently fired Miami Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron, who had Harbaugh on his staff at the University of Indiana in 1997.
Asked about Shurmur, Harbaugh said: "I think Pat's a great coach. [But] I'm not going to give any names. I don't know how it's going to shake out."
At defensive coordinator, Ryan could be retained if he isn't hired as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, who have reopened their coaching search.
If Harbaugh wants Ryan, 45, the Ravens can keep him because he has a year remaining on his contract. They coached together at the University of Cincinnati in 1996.
Another possibility is Ron Rivera, who is thought to be close to Harbaugh. They coached together with the Eagles from 1999 to 2003, when Rivera was the linebackers coach.
Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears for three seasons before becoming the San Diego Chargers' linebackers coach this season.
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