Jim Harding

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Bengals, Browns

In announcing Greg Roman as their new offensive coordinator, the Ravens also disclosed previous OC Marty Mornhinweg will not be returning to Baltimore in 2019. Mornhinweg, who’d been with the Ravens since 2015 and calling plays since 2016, rejected the opportunity to take another position on Baltimore’s staff. “We tried to keep Marty, but he has decided to move on, and I respect that,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a really good coach and helped us win the AFC North last season and get close to the playoffs the previous two years.” Roman had reportedly drawn OC interest from the Dolphins, which could have played a factor in his promotion from assistant head coach/tight ends.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Hue Jackson will not return to the Bengals‘ staff under presumptive new head coach Zac Taylor, Elise Jesse of WLWT was the first to report (via Twitter). Jackson, who is close friends with former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, was hired by Cincinnati at midseason, shortly after being fired as Cleveland’s head coach. Although he interviewed to succeed Lewis, Jackson was considered likely to leave the Bengals’ staff if he didn’t land the top job. While he could be in contention for offensive coordinator jobs, Jackson might have to spend 2019 as a position coach.
  • Former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is in consideration for the same role with the Bengals, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Bevell is reportedly “high on [Taylor’s] list” of possible OCs, as the rookie head coach is looking for someone with plenty of experience. The 49-year-old Bevell has interviewed for play-calling openings in both Jacksonville and Atlanta this year, but thus far hasn’t landed a job after being out of the NFL in 2018. Meanwhile, ex-Giants head coach Ben McAdoo — who recently met with the Cardinals — is a “name to watch” in Cincinnati, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).
  • The Browns have interviewed Utah offensive line coach Jim Harding for the same position, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Harding, who was previously Utah’s co-offensive coordinator from 2015-15, is considered one of the best OL coaches at the collegiate level, per Pelissero. He interviewed with the Bengals in 2018 before Cincinnati hired Frank Pollack.

Bengals Interview Jon Kitna

The Bengals have interviewed former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna for a position on their staff, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News.

At present, it’s unclear for which position Kitna interviewed, but Cincinnati does have a vacancy at quarterbacks coach. Bill Lazor formerly held that title, but he’s now the full-time offensive coordinator following the firing of Ken Zampese. Kitna, who spent five seasons with the Bengals during his playing career, doesn’t have any NFL coaching experience, but he has served as a high school head coach since 2012.

Kitna, 45, played under Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis for three years, and was Lewis’ first starting quarterback when the latter took over in Cincinnati in 2003. Lewis recently inked a two-year extension to remain in the Queen City, and hiring Kitna would add another level of familiarity to the Bengals’ staff.

Kitna’s potential addition won’t be the only staff change in Cincinnati, as the club is parting ways with secondary coach Kevin Coyle, per Marvez. Additionally, the Bengals are considering both pro and college coaches as they seek to replace offensive line coach Paul Alexander, and one scenario could involve promoting longtime consultant Jim McNally to OL coach, reports Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. Utah assistant head coach/offensive line Jim Harding has also interviewed for the position, tweets Marvez.