Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that the organization will interview both internal and external candidates for their offensive coordinator position and they have a certain profile in mind in making the hire.
"We're confident that whether we select someone currently on our staff or from another team, we will have a coach that best fits what we want to be, where we want to go and understands what Ravens football is all about," Harbaugh said today in statements released by the team.
Harbaugh's comments are his first since former offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was hired yesterday as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Harbaugh and the Ravens' front office have started the process of finding their third offensive coordinator in the past 13 months. Harbaugh didn't address whether he's started to interview prospective candidates, nor whether he has a timetable for making the hire.
But his acknowledgement that the team will interview both internal and external candidates suggests that the process could take a little while.
"I have a profile in mind, and we are excited about the coaches who have shown interest in the job," Harbaugh said. "One of the positives with the change is that we're reminded that this franchise – and team – is attractive to many in the profession. We will have a coaching staff that will get the most out of our players."
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One of those options emerged Wednesday when Harbaugh interviewed former Houston Texans and Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, according to sources. Shanahan is expected to be one of several candidates that Harbaugh will speak with in the coming days.
The pool of candidates has already thinned out a bit over the last 24 hours. Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Coach Ben McAdoo, who the Ravens had requested permission to interview, was hired last night as the New York Giants' offensive coordinator.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor, another potential Ravens' target, was reportedly hired as the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator today. Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who the Ravens have long admired, is also scheduled to interview with the Minnesota Vikings and their head coach Mike Zimmer, according to multiple reports. The Ravens have not asked the Browns permission to interview Turner as of yet, according to sources.
Other potential external candidates include former NFL head coaches Gary Kubiak and Rob Chudzinski, who also have NFL offensive coordinator experience.
The Ravens' top internal candidate is believed to be Jim Hostler, who has coached their wide receivers for the past six years. Hostler was the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator in 2007 and he is well respected by the Ravens' top decision makers and the players.
Hostler also had a role in the play-calling over the past seasons, working with Caldwell who Harbaugh said would have stayed on as the offensive coordinator had he not gotten a head-coaching job elsewhere.
"We are all so happy for Jim," Harbaugh said. "He deserves this opportunity, and I congratulate the Lions for selecting him. We're disappointed that we've lost Jim. We were looking forward to making progress on offense with Jim leading the charge as coordinator. Jim is a teacher, he is honorable, he is a respected leader, and every person with the Ravens will miss him. Players and assistants respond to him. You understand why he was named Detroit's head coach and why all the other teams had him among the finalists."