The Ravens have promoted Matt Weiss to running backs coach, filling the final positional-coach vacancy on John Harbaugh’s staff.
Weiss, 35, most recently served as a football strategy coordinator and helped Bobby Engram coach the Ravens’ wide receivers. He was responsible for leading the coaching staff’s analytics department, advising Harbaugh on game management and scripting the team's situational practice periods.
“Matt’s wide-ranging knowledge of the game will serve as a tremendous asset to our running backs group,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “He is a thorough, bright and creative coach who will help our offense attain the high standard we’ve set out to achieve.”
Weiss, entering his 11th year on the Ravens’ staff, replaces Thomas Hammock, who recently was named the head coach at Northern Illinois, his alma mater.
Weiss previously worked with the quarterbacks as an offensive assistant from 2016 to 2017, oversaw the cornerbacks in 2015, assisted the linebackers in 2014 and served as a defensive quality-control coach from 2012 to 2014. After joining the Ravens in 2009, he was Harbaugh’s assistant for three seasons.
Weiss’ most important contribution might have been toward the NFL’s rule book. According to the team website, Weiss looked at every catch from 2011 to 2017 and suggested that the league change its catch rule to require a player to take a third step inbounds.
After the Ravens presented their proposal to the NFL competition committee at the scouting combine, the league went a step further in March, defining a catch as one that had a “football move” — not necessarily a third step, but tucking the football or reaching for the end zone as well.
“Matt was really instrumental in putting together the concept, the videotape, that we ended up showing at the combine,” Harbaugh said.
Weiss could be working with an overhauled group of running backs next season. Ty Montgomery and Buck Allen are unrestricted free agents, and Alex Collins is a restricted free agent. While Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon finished last season strong, it’s unclear how they might fit in the Ravens’ redeveloped offense next season.