Harbaugh free to hire Shurmur

Street Talk Harbaugh free to hire Shurmur

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OWINGS MILLS — The pathway is clear of any road blocks if new Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants to hire Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator.

Eagles coach Andy Reid has given his blessing.

Reid said he won’t stand in Shurmur’s way, a stance that’s contrary to how he conducted business when Vikings coach Brad Childress was prevented from bringing several Reid assistants with him to Minnesota.

"Pat’s been with me a long time, and if he has a chance to move in that capacity, I’d welcome it for him," Reid told Philadelphia reporters at the Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. "He’s a good one."

As of Tuesday night, the Ravens hadn’t formally interviewed Shurmur or begun any contract discussions. Shurmur declined interview requests.

Shurmur, 42, has been an assistant for Reid since his arrival in Philadelphia nine years ago. He coached the Eagles’ quarterbacks for the past six seasons after spending his first three years on the staff as a tight ends coach.

Shurmur, who’s close friends with Harbaugh, interviewed two years ago for the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator position that went to Brian Schottenheimer.

"I’m sure I’ll talk to Pat," Harbaugh said Saturday after he was introduced as head coach. "He’s a great coach, and I’m sure he’s going to be a great coordinator. So, we’ll see what happens."

Shurmur, who was an All-Big Ten center and captain of the team at Michigan State, coached Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason as a special-teams coach during his seven-year stint as an assistant in East Lansing. After one year coaching the Stanford offensive line in 1998, Shurmur became one of Reid’s first hires.

Under Shurmur, quarterback Donovan McNabb has earned three of his five Pro Bowl selections. A Dearborn, Mich., native, Shurmur has also done well with injury replacements for McNabb such as Jeff Garcia and A.J. Feeley.

"You don’t want to lose him, but as long as you have other guys that can fit in, then you’re OK," Reid said. "You reach a point where this stuff is going to happen. That’s how this game is.

"I’ve had a lot of young coaches who want and deserve to move on. In John’s case, what a great opportunity for him to move on."

Meanwhile, the Ravens could also look at an even more experienced alternative for offensive coordinator in former Miami Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron. Cameron’s agent didn’t return telephone calls and e-mails.

Former Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who’s a finalist for the Atlanta Falcons’ job, could wind up as Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator. San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Ron Rivera, who worked in Philadelphia with Harbaugh, is another option.

Ryan is also a potential candidate for coordinator positions with the New York Giants, whose defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, is considered the frontrunner in Atlanta but can’t be interviewed until after the Super Bowl, and the New York Jets.

Ryan has interviewed twice with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who has been without a coach since Dec. 13 when Bobby Petrino abruptly quit to go to the University of Arkansas.

With former Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel reportedly the frontrunner to replace Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, there’s speculation that Ryan could join Fassel in Washington if he doesn’t go to Atlanta or remain in Baltimore.

"I’m in a holding pattern, otherwise I haven’t been informed," Ryan told reporters at the Senior Bowl. "It’s getting close, I feel. It’s taking a while, but that’s OK. Hopefully, it works out for me.

"It’s going to be a great situation for whoever gets it. Hopefully, I’m that guy. I think they’re being thorough, it’s as thorough of a search that I’ve been around. I’m confident they’ll get the best guy."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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