Mike Macdonald is landing back in Baltimore after all. The Ravens announced that they’ve hired Macdonald as their new defensive coordinator.
We heard earlier this week that Macdonald was the favorite for the gig, but the team still went ahead and interviewed Joe Cullen and Mike Caldwell for the job. Ultimately, it sounds like the Ravens got their guy, and the 34-year-old will now return to Baltimore.
“Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “During his initial seven seasons with us, it was evident that his leadership, intelligence and passion would earn him the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
“Mike has continuously proven himself, including when he led one of the country’s best defenses at Michigan last year. He is a proven play-caller who knows our system well. He also fully understands the standard of playing defense in Baltimore.”
Prior to joining Jim Harbaugh‘s Wolverines staff last year, Macdonald was viewed as Don Martindale’s heir apparent in Baltimore. He had previously worked with the Ravens from 2014-20, moving up from the intern level to linebackers coach by the end of his first stint with the team. Also spending time working with Baltimore’s defensive backs, Macdonald gained extensive experience with the team ahead of his move to the college ranks.
Michigan’s performance certainly helped the young assistant’s cause. Sparked by potential No. 1 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson‘s Heisman Trophy bid, the Wolverines ranked as a top-10 defense in 2021 — a year after ranking 95th in points allowed. Should Macdonald, 34, land the job, he would become the youngest DC in Ravens history.
A number of names were connected to the vacancy. In addition to Macdonald, Cullen, and Caldwell, we heard D-line coach Anthony Weaver and external options like Kris Richard and Joe Whitt Jr. tossed around as candidates.