The Ravens have not seen a coordinator leave for a head coaching job since 2015, when one-year offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak left for the Broncos. Kubiak was not on the radar anywhere else that offseason. Sitting 9-3 after its bye week, Baltimore may see multiple teams reach out to both its current coordinators about HC interviews in 2024.
John Harbaugh just assembled his Todd Monken–Mike Macdonald coordinator combo, though the latter arrived last year. Staffers surveyed around the league, however, expect the Ravens to see both end up on next year’s HC carousel, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. A few execs went further, suggesting Harbaugh will need to hire two new coordinators next year.
Monken, 57, re-emerged from the college ranks this offseason, coming back to the NFL after helping Georgia win two national championships as OC. Although Lamar Jackson sits 13th in QBR, the Ravens have zoomed to 9-3 and withstood the J.K. Dobbins loss while seeing a few offensive linemen miss time. They will face a challenge moving forward, with Mark Andrews out of the equation — though, Harbaugh is not shutting down the notion the Pro Bowl tight end can come back deep into the playoffs — but the Monken hire has turned out well in Year 1.
Although Monken had been off the NFL radar for a bit, he has previously interviewed for HC positions. The Jets and Packers interviewed Monken for their HC positions in 2019. Before Baltimore, Monken had served as OC with Tampa Bay and Cleveland. The Browns stint went poorly, with Freddie Kitchens becoming a one-and-done after being unready for an HC post, and Monken returned to the college game. After the Georgia success, Monken’s Ravens offense ranks fifth in DVOA and seventh in scoring. With offensive coaches holding the upper hand on their defensive counterparts in terms of HC rises, Monken stands to be a name to watch soon.
As the Ravens have shifted away — to a degree, at least — from Greg Roman run-oriented attack, they have taken steps forward on defense as well. Macdonald rejoined Baltimore’s staff last year, replacing Don Martindale after a one-season stint under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. The Ravens had previously groomed Macdonald, 36, by bringing him up through their coaching ranks. Macdonald was on Baltimore’s staff from 2014-20. He has not been in the mix for any HC posts previously, but that figures to change in 2024.
The Ravens’ defense leads the league in DVOA and scoring. They have gotten by with Marlon Humphrey missing six games. Last year’s Roquan Smith trade has proven tremendously beneficial, and the team has coaxed quality production from late free agency pickups Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy. Clowney did not sign until August 18, and the team did not add Van Noy until Sept. 26. Both have played key roles as edge rushers, combining for 13.5 sacks and 24 QB hits. Justin Madubuike is putting together a career year, leading the Ravens with 10 sacks and raising his free agency stock in the process.
Harbaugh’s 15 previous seasons in Baltimore have produced four coordinator-to-HC jumps, though Martindale and Roman both received interviews. Rex Ryan, who was in place as the Ravens’ DC before Harbaugh’s arrival, left for the Jets in 2009. His successor, Chuck Pagano, left for the Colts’ HC job in 2012. The Lions hired Ravens OC Jim Caldwell in 2014. Teams cannot begin interviewing candidates currently on NFL staffs until after the divisional round this year, marking a change from previous offseasons.