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Linehan the Cure for What Ails Ravens Offense?

Street Talk Linehan the Cure for What Ails Ravens Offense?

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Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens have interviewed former Lions offensive coodinator Scott Linehan for their vacant offensive coordinator position.

For the past five seasons, Linehan has been the offensive coordinator in Detroit. Under his guidance, the Lions finished in the top-ten in the NFL in three out of those five seasons.

The former coordinator was let go in Detroit when Jim Caldwell was hired as their head coach earlier this month.

While it is a common practice whenever a new head coach takes over to hire a new staff, something stuck out when Caldwell announced what he was looking for in his new offensive coordinator.

“I think that innovation is key,” Caldwell said. “One of the things about this league, and particularly in the division, when you play teams multiple times that you have to have a bit of variety. You have to make certain you can keep them off balance. That’s going to be key.”

The Ravens offense was anything but unpredictable in 2013 and the team cannot afford to have another season of vanilla play calls. If Linehan was not retained because of what Caldwell saw as a “lack of variety,” can he right the ship on offense here in Baltimore?

Baltimore is without something else that Linehan enjoyed in Detroit – a true number one wide receiver (Calvin Johnson, of course, is more than even that; he’s one of the best of his generation). Throw in a questionable blocking scheme which John Harbaugh cemented as here to stay when he named Juan Castillo the offensive line coach for 2014, and Linehan would have his work cut out for him – as will any offensive coordinator the team chooses to hire.

“One of the things we’re trying to just make certain (is) that we have a guy that has a real good sense of system and just in terms of offensive football, application, installation of it,” Caldwell said, speaking of his own OC search. “[We want] a good communicator. That’s extremely important. And that he’s a real good just in terms of teaching fundamentals. I think that’s the basic rudiments of quality play on offensive football. So those things are important.”

The words Caldwell uses to describe what he is looking for in Detroit can be taken one of two ways. It is either a knock on what the Ravens failed to do last year, or it was he thought Linehan failed to bring to Detroit.

The Ravens announced via their website on Tuesday they have already interviewed current Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler, former Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Harbaugh also has an interview scheduled later this week with Pittsburgh Steelers Running Backs Coach Kirby Wilson.

The search continues…


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Brian Bower

About Brian Bower

Brian Bower is avid football fan, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past 6 years. This will be his 3rd season with the Russell Street Report. His work has been featured on, ESPN blogs, Comcast SportsNet Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore Ravens web page. He is also a regular guest on local radio and ESPN Radio in Honolulu, Hawaii. Brian is very involved in the community and has spent the last twenty years as a volunteer firefighter. Email him at [email protected] More from Brian Bower


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