The Ravens’ search for a new offensive coordinator has been narrowed to a pair of finalists: former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler.
Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Kirby Wilson, who interviewed for the position Friday, was among the initial group of finalists. He was informed by coach John Harbaugh on Saturday that he was no longer under consideration for the job, according to two sources.
Wilson soon after verbally accepted a position as the Minnesota Vikings’ running backs coach, according to a source.
“Yeah, it was excellent,” Wilson told The Baltimore Sun on Saturday morning, before learning he was not among the Ravens’ finalists. “It went really well. It was very informative. They gave me a chance to present what I'm about and what I believe in, and I heard what direction they want to go in and what they believe in. I was happy with the visit. I gave it my best shot.
“I appreciate the interview. It's been a long time coming. I appreciate the chance just to do it. It's something a lot of people dream of doing. I've been fortunate and blessed.”
The Ravens are maintaining a patient approach as they weigh the candidacies of Hostler, the lone internal candidate, and Shanahan, who was fired along with his father, Mike Shanahan, after a rocky 3-13 season. Both Hostler and Shanahan have interviewed twice for the position, which was vacated when Jim Caldwell was hired as the Detroit Lions’ head coach.
In one possible scenario under consideration, Hostler and Shanahan could work in tandem on Ravens' staff. If he isn’t hired as offensive coordinator, Shanahan could be considered for the quarterbacks coach position and serve as Flacco's position coach.
The Ravens also interviewed former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, but he hasn’t been brought in for a second interview and is now being considered for a play-calling position with the Dallas Cowboys, a source confirmed.
No specific timetable has been disclosed, but Wilson said he was initially told that the process, which Harbaugh is leading, would conclude as soon as Saturday and no later than Sunday.
“They said they won't drag it on,” he said.
The Ravens ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense last season as running back Ray Rice rushed for just 660 yards and quarterback Joe Flacco threw a franchise-record 22 interceptions and was sacked a career-high 48 times.
Shanahan, 34, was recommended to the Ravens by at least three NFL coaches, including New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, according to sources.
During his last season running the Houston Texans offense in 2009, they finished first in the NFL in passing offense.
The Texans ranked in the top five in total offense and passing offense in two seasons with Shanahan as offensive coordinator. He was the youngest offensive coordinator in the NFL when he was hired by the Texans in 2008.
Hostler, 47, served as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator during the 2007 season, but the 49ers finished last in total offense and Hostler drew criticism from running back Frank Gore.
With the Ravens, however, Hostler has found success as a position coach and built strong relationships with key offensive players, including Flacco and wide receiver Torrey Smith.
Although he hasn’t had play-calling duties with the Ravens, Hostler helped Caldwell build game plans and had input on the offense during games.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun