A little over two weeks after the departure of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, the Ravens seem to be narrowing their search for his replacement.
Though the organization hasn’t provided an update since head coach John Harbaugh said Baltimore would “cast a wide net” to fill “one of the top football coaching jobs in the world” last month, the Ravens are now in the midst of conducting second interviews. According to reports from NFL Network and ESPN, University of Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Seattle quarterbacks coach Dave Canales, Denver offensive coordinator Justin Outten, and Minnesota passing game coordinator Brian Angelichio are among the candidates receiving a second interview after the first round was conducted via video conference.
That doesn’t mean Monken, Canales, Outten, and Angelichio are the only remaining candidates as the Ravens continue their most exhaustive search for an offensive coordinator since hiring Gary Kubiak in 2014. For what it’s worth, Kubiak wasn’t among the leading finalists named by Harbaugh in a mid-search update before the former Houston Texans head coach was hired for the job less than a week later. With Super Bowl LVII just over a week away, the Ravens might be inclined to wait a little longer to make their hire after reportedly requesting to interview Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Monken, 56, has not only run the offense for the back-to-back national champion Bulldogs, but he also has recent NFL coaching experience as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator in 2019 and Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator from 2016-18. His balanced offenses at Georgia are undoubtedly appealing to Harbaugh, who expressed the desire to maintain a strong ground game in the wake of Roman’s exit.
A longtime assistant for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the 41-year-old Canales has served as Seattle’s quarterbacks coach or passing game coordinator since 2018. He’s received praise for his work with longtime backup and surprising 2022 Pro Bowl quarterback Geno Smith, but it’s also worth noting nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson arguably had the best three-year stretch of his career from 2018-20 when Canales became his position coach after previously coaching the team’s wide receivers.
Outten, 39, appears unlikely to be retained with the Broncos set to hire Sean Payton as their new head coach. Denver’s offense was a disaster in 2022 with former head coach Nathaniel Hackett calling plays for most of the season, but the Broncos did fare better with Outten calling the plays for the final two games, scoring 24 points in Week 17 and 31 in Week 18. Harbaugh’s ties with former Broncos interim coach Jerry Rosburg would certainly provide helpful information on Outten’s coaching chops. Outten previously coached in Green Bay and Atlanta.
The 50-year-old Angelichio served as a tight ends coach for five other NFL teams before joining the Vikings staff and adding passing game coordinator to his job description this past season. Minnesota ranked sixth in the NFL in passing yards per game, 10th in passing yards per attempt, and 15th in passing DVOA in 2022.
Considering the lengths of the search, one would assume Harbaugh and the Ravens are more likely to hire someone outside the organization, but Lamar Jackson’s uncertain status could complicate matters. Any candidate — especially those holding a stable job elsewhere — will surely want as much clarity as possible on the star quarterback, who is expected to receive the franchise tag if the Ravens can’t sign him to a long-term contract in the coming weeks. The tag could lead to a lengthy offseason absence for Jackson or even a trade, outcomes that would complicate the new coordinator’s ability to install a new offense and succeed in 2023.
Harbaugh shot down the potential for such concerns last month.
“Everybody’s going to want this job,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to getting started, and it won’t just be me. It’ll be other coaches and scouts involved in it. We’re going to cast a wide net, and we’re going to look far and wide and close.
“We’ll get the best fit for what we’re trying to accomplish, and it’s going to be a highly qualified candidate.”