Baltimore Ravens

Ravens hire former NFL defensive end Chuck Smith as outside linebackers coach

The Ravens continued filling out their coaching staff Wednesday, hiring former NFL defensive end Chuck Smith to be their outside linebackers coach.

Smith replaces Rob Leonard, who left to become defensive line coach for the Las Vegas Raiders after one season in Baltimore.


Smith, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers from 1992 to 2000, has built a career training pass rushers as a consultant for college and professional players and coaches. He worked as a training camp consultant for several NFL teams, including the Ravens in 2008, before he became a pass-rush specialist for the New York Jets in 2009 and the defensive line coach at the University of Tennessee (his alma mater) in 2010. He also worked as a coaching fellow for the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2015 offseason.

Last month, Smith worked with players at the historically Black colleges and universities NFL scouting combine.

Former NFL defensive end Chuck Smith, right, works with defensive lineman Jason Dumas of Southern A&M during a drill at the historically Black colleges and universities NFL scouting combine in Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 20.

“Chuck is a proven and highly respected pass rush coach who many pro and collegiate players have sought guidance from,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “He brings unique insight, experience and passion to the Ravens, and we’re confident that he’ll have a great impact on our outside linebackers group.”

The Ravens will ask Smith to help young pass rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo reach their potential.

Oweh, a 2021 first-round pick, finished his second season with a disappointing three sacks, down from five in his rookie year. Ojabo, a 2022 second-round pick, spent most of his rookie season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and played just two games.

The Ravens relied heavily on veteran outside linebackers Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul last season, and both are unrestricted free agents.

Smith is the second coach to join defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s staff this week, following a Tuesday announcement that Maryland native and former Terps star Dennard Wilson will be the Ravens’ new defensive backs coach.