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Ravens looking into hiring defensive assistant Joe Cullen

Ravens looking into hiring defensive assistant Joe Cullen
Joe Cullen, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant. (Associated Press)

The Ravens have an opening for a linebackers coach after Ted Monachino left the team last week to become the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator.

It's unclear if John Harbaugh considers Joe Cullen a candidate to fill that role, or whether he has other plans for the former Tampa Buccaneers defensive line coach. Cullen interviewed with the Ravens on Friday, a development that was first reported by NFL on Fox.

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Cullen spent the past two seasons with the Buccaneers and was believed to be a candidate to become Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator after the firing of head coach Lovie Smith. The Buccaneers reportedly denied the San Diego Chargers' request to interview Cullen earlier this month.

However, Tampa Bay's hiring of Dirk Koetter as head coach and Mike Smith as defensive coordinator likely means that Cullen's days with the Buccaneers are numbered. The Buccaneers will reportedly hire Jay Hayes, a former Cincinnati Bengals assistant, as their defensive line coach.

Harbaugh has been planning on adding another defensive assistant since Monachino left. Current defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, who has been battling esophageal cancer, will have surgery either later this month or in February, and face an extended recovery. However, Brooks is expected to be back coaching during the 2016 season.

Cullen could assist Brooks with the defensive linemen or be used in another way.

Cullen has also had stints as the defensive line coach of the Detroit Lions (2006-08), Jacksonville Jaguars (2010-12) and Cleveland Browns (2013).

Praised for his work with some of the Buccaneers' young defensive linemen, Cullen made news earlier in his coaching career for a couple of off-field indiscretions.

While with Detroit in 2006, Cullen was arrested for driving under the influence. He got arrested again during the preseason that year for driving naked through a Wendy's drive-through. Cullen was fined and suspended for one game by the NFL and sentenced to community service and ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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