Sun reporter Jamison Hensley answers questions about the Ravens' coaching hire.
Why John Harbaugh?
The Ravens' first choice was Jason Garrett, but Harbaugh could be the better coach right away. He has more coaching experience and shows more intensity, which could play well in the locker room. Before becoming Ravens owner, Steve Bisciotti prided himself on building a successful business by taking chances on young people. Harbaugh, 45, is the type of coach that Bisciotti can build a team around for the next decade.
Will Harbaugh run the team differently from the way Brian Billick did?
There won't be much change because Harbaugh isn't an old-school coach. He comes from Philadelphia, where coach Andy Reid took care of his players as Billick did. So, don't expect hard-hitting, two-a-day practices to come to McDaniel College this summer. But Harbaugh is known for his emotional style, and he won't let the players coast, either.
Does it hurt that Harbaugh has never been a head coach at any level?
This could be a tough sell for fans because special teams coaches such as Harbaugh don't get the same level of respect as offensive or defensive coordinators. But the job of a special teams coach could be more similar to a head coach than any other. Special teams coaches have to deal with players from multiple positions and have to make more personnel adjustments because they deal with six units.
Did the Ravens even consider Marty Schottenheimer?
He was the fallback option if Harbaugh stumbled yesterday. But Harbaugh had an "excellent" second interview, according to one team source, and didn't force the Ravens to explore other options. Schottenheimer would have been the safer choice because of his experience, but Bisciotti didn't want to go through another coaching search three years from now.
Will Harbaugh's age (45) be a problem in the locker room?
This could be a challenge because some of the Ravens' hardened veterans will have doubts. They'll likely test Harbaugh because of his age and try to see how far they can push him. But this might be a problem only this season. The Ravens could undergo a youth movement after this season.
Bisciotti already owes Billick $15 million and has to pay his coaching staff for a year. How can he afford a new coach and staff?
Harbaugh is getting only between $2 million and $2.5 million a season, which is a relative bargain in coaching standards. Because he is a young coach, the Ravens won't spare any expense to lock up veteran coordinators such as Cam Cameron on offense or Rex Ryan on defense.
John Harbaugh became the ninth-youngest head coach in the NFL. The former Eagles defensive backs coach turned 45 on Sept. 23. Here are the youngest head coaches in the league.
Name ........................... Team ........... Age
Lane Kiffin ................ Raiders .......... 32
Mike McCarthy ........... Packers ......... 44
Scott Linehan ............. Rams ............ 44
Jon Gruden ................ Buccaneers .... 44