Harbaugh: 'It just came together'

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens coach John Harbaugh completed his staff this week, ending a three-week search that brought some experienced coaches into the fold and produced an unexpected turn of events.

"It surprised me about how many people wanted to be Baltimore Ravens," said Harbaugh, who noted many of the coaches had five or six teams interested in them. "I didn't think it would be this successful putting together a staff. Now, Jerry [Rosburg, special teams coach] said we'll find out in September how successful we are. But it's going to come together. We're going to have a great football team."

Of his 19-man staff, Harbaugh retained six coaches from Brian Billick's regime and hired 13 new ones.

Harbaugh focused most of his efforts on revamping the staff on offense, which struggled regularly under Billick. The only offensive coach returning is Wade Harman (tight ends).

Harbaugh's first hire was Cam Cameron, the former Miami Dolphins head coach who takes over as offensive coordinator. He then added more experience with two coaches - Hue Jackson (quarterbacks) and Jim Hostler (wide receivers) - who were offensive coordinators in the NFL last season.

Rounding out the top position coaches are: John Matsko, who coached the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive line the past two seasons, and Wilbert Montgomery, the former NFL veteran who coached the Detroit Lions' running backs the past two seasons. Matsko and Montgomery coached together in St. Louis when the Rams had the NFL's most prolific attack.

On defense, Harbaugh kept most of the staff together, bringing back Rex Ryan (coordinator-assistant head coach), Clarence Brooks (defensive line), Mike Pettine (outside linebackers) and Mark Carrier (defensive backs).

His only hires on defense were two college defensive coordinators: Greg Mattison (linebackers) from Florida and Chuck Pagano (secondary) from North Carolina.

Rosburg, who has coached special teams in the NFL for the past seven seasons, was named to take over the Ravens' special teams that repeatedly hurt itself with penalties last season.

In constructing his staff, Harbaugh said there were few bumps in the process.

"The amazing thing to me was the whole thing fell into place," he said. "I didn't worry about it. I didn't stress about it. We worked really hard and tried to interview as many people as possible, and it just came together."

Harbaugh said there were three qualities he looked for in his coaches: character, teaching ability and football knowledge.

"We ended up getting coaches with pretty amazing resumes," Harbaugh said. "But I think we really got better people than football coaches."

Note -- Tight end Todd Heap created $1.7 million in salary cap room for the Ravens by restructuring his contract. This move will presumably help the Ravens use the franchise tag on linebacker Terrell Suggs. The Ravens converted $2.27 million of Heap's $3 million salary this season into a bonus, which allows them to spread that figure over the final four years of his contract. As a result, Heap has a lower cap number this season but a slightly higher one for the next three seasons.jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

COACHING LINEUP

The Ravens' new coaching staff under John Harbaugh:

OFFENSE

Coach Title Previous

Cam Cameron Offensive coordinator Dolphins head coach

Hue Jackson Quarterbacks Falcons offensive coordinator

Wilbert Montgomery Running backs Lions running backs

Jim Hostler Wide receivers 49ers offensive coordinator

Wade Harman Tight ends Ravens

John Matsko Offensive line Chiefs offensive line

Andy Moeller Assistant offensive line Michigan offensive line

Craig Ver Steeg Offensive quality control Rutgers running backs

DEFENSE

Rex Ryan Defensive coordinator Ravens

Clarence Brooks Defensive line Ravens

Greg Mattison Linebackers Florida co-defensive coordinator

Mike Pettine Outside linebackers Ravens

Chuck Pagano Secondary North Carolina defensive coordinator

Mark Carrier Defensive backs Ravens

OTHER

Jerry Rosburg Special teams coordinator Falcons special teams coach

Vic Fangio Special asst. to head coach Ravens

Bob Rogucki Strength and conditioning Eagles asst. strength coach

Marwan Maalouf Assistant special teams Browns quality control

John Dunn Assistant strength Redskins strength coach

and conditioning

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