By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
3:23 PM EST, January 29, 2014
The Ravens made it official, naming Steve Spagnuolo as secondary coach and hiring Brian Pariani as tight ends coach.
Neither move was a surprise with Pariani accepting the position Monday to replace 15-year tight ends coach Wade Harman.
Spagnuolo had been expected to become the secondary coach as the replacement for Teryl Austin since Austin was hired by the Detroit Lions as defensive coordinator.
Spagnuolo was also given the additional responsibility of assistant head coach. Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg now holds the title of associate head coach after previously being assistant head coach.
A former St. Louis Rams head coach who's been a defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, Spagnuolo spent last season on the Ravens' staff as senior defensive assistant.
Spagnuolo was the Giants' defensive coordinator for a Super Bowl XLII championship team in 2007 that led the NFL with 53 sacks.
Spagnuolo was the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive backs coach for three seasons when John Harbaugh was on that coaching staff.
He takes over a unit that includes cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith and safeties Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo.“How fortunate are we to have a former NFL head coach, former defensive coordinator and secondary coach become the Ravens’ coach for our defensive backs?” Harbaugh said in a statement. "Steve is one of the outstanding teachers in the NFL, and he already worked with our defensive staff and players last season as a senior assistant. Our players respect him, and a number of our veteran defensive backs recently said to me that they wanted Steve to coach them.”
Pariani coached tight ends for the Houston Texans for the past eight seasons, working under new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
With the Texans, he coached two-time Pro Bowl tight end Owen Daniels.
Pariani has also coached tight ends for the Denver Broncos previously where he coached Hall of Fame selection Shannon Sharpe. He was an offensive coordinator at Syracuse for one season in 2005 and was previously an offensive assistant and scouting assistant with the San Francisco 49ers.
With the Ravens, Pariani inherits a position where top tight end Dennis Pitta is an unrestricted free agent as well as Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark. The Ravens are expected to make a major push to retain Pitta with either a long-term contract or by making him their franchise player, at a cost of $6.702 million.
“Brian has earned a reputation as one of the NFL’s top tight ends coaches, and we’re excited that he was available and willing to join us,” Harbaugh said. "Another factor that immediately makes him valuable to us is his familiarity with the offense we want to run. We are making changes on offense, and Brian will be able to help teach and implement them.”