Baltimore is making some big changes to their defense, and so far, things are looking great. In addition to bringing on Leslie Frazier to overhaul the secondary, Baltimore is adding Joe Cullen to their staff as a defensive line coach. While Baltimore already has a stellar coach at the position, Clarence Brooks, Cullen has been brought on to aide Brooks as he recovers from his battle with esophageal cancer.
Cullen previously coached the Lions, Jaguars, and Buccaneers as a defensive line coach. While he has led some good front lines over the years, Cullen is most known for infamously driving through a Wendy's drive-thru naked and not being able to recall the events. In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Cullen went on the record and quite bluntly told it as it was. "Well, it's simple; it's called a blackout," said Cullen to the paper.
Bouts with alcohol aside, Cullen appears to be a solid coach. His Bucs' squad had the fifth-highest sack rate in the league, although they were just in the middle of the league against the run. The hope is that Cullen can rejuvenate the Ravens' bottom-half defensive front. With the talent in his hands now, it's certainly not a stretch at all.
A 10-year NFL coaching veteran, Cullen joins the Ravens after serving as defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-15), Cleveland Browns (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars (2010-12) and Detroit Lions (2006-08).
During his two seasons with Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers allowed the NFL’s third-fewest yards per rush (3.67 avg.), including just 3.4 yards per carry in 2015 (the league’s second-best mark). Last season, Tampa Bay’s defensive line also accounted for 26.5 of the team’s 38 sacks. In 2013, Cullen helped improve Cleveland’s defense to ninth overall in the NFL after the unit finished 23rd the year prior to his arrival.
Before beginning his NFL coaching career, Cullen spent 16 years tutoring on defense at the collegiate level. He served mostly as a defensive line coach, but had two stints as defensive coordinator at Indiana (2004) and Richmond (2000).
Cullen attended the University of Massachusetts, where he was a four-year nose guard from 1986-89, earning three All-Conference honors.