What appeared to be a two-man competition for the Ravens’ vacant offensive coordinator job includes at least one other candidate, according to a team source.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh spent Sunday interviewing an undisclosed candidate at the Under Armour Performance Center, a development that adds further intrigue to a process that appeared to be wrapping up.
When Harbaugh informed Pittsburgh Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson on Saturday that he was going in a different direction with the hire, that seemingly left current Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as the two remaining candidates.
However, Harbaugh apparently wanted to have at least one more formal interview before deciding on a successor for Jim Caldwell, who was hired as the Detroit Lions head coach on Jan. 14. Harbaugh has been leading the interview process, but he’s undoubtedly factoring in the opinions of owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome and other executives within the organization in making the hire.
Although it's unclear if the Ravens have brought him in for an interview, former Houston Texans and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison talked with Harbaugh during the past few days, according to a league source.
Dennison is highly regarded by Harbaugh and around the NFL, according to sources. Dennison was the Texans' offensive coordinator from 2010 until this season when he was fired along with coach Gary Kubiak as the AFC South franchise finished 2-14.
In 2012, the Texans set a franchise record with 26 points per game and ranked seventh in the NFL with an average of 372.1 yards per game as seven offensive players made the Pro Bowl.
Since Caldwell’s departure, Harbaugh has been speaking regularly with potential candidates, interviewing as many as two per day last week, the head coach told the team’s official website. In the middle of last week, he identified Hostler, Shanahan, Wilson and former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as top candidates for the opening.
While he didn’t list them as the only candidates, those four were viewed as the best fits at the time. But Linehan wasn’t given a second interview and he reportedly is a top candidate to join Jason Garrett’s staff with the Dallas Cowboys. After learning that he wasn’t getting the Ravens’ offensive coordinator job, Wilson reached a verbal agreement to become the Minnesota Vikings’ running backs coach, according to sources.
As of Saturday, multiple team sources said that Harbaugh was deciding between Hostler and Shanahan. However, that now appears premature.
Hostler, 47, has been the Ravens’ wide receivers coach since 2008, and he has been instrumental in the development of young receivers like Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown.
Shanahan, 34, served as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator under his father, Mike, from 2010 to 2013, and as the Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator in 2008-09.
While the focus has been on the offensive coordinator job, Harbaugh is also looking to hire a quarterbacks coach, a running backs coach and a secondary coach.
Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun