With the addition of former head coach Leslie Frazier as the secondary coach and Joe Cullen as the new defensive line coach, the Ravens have shaken up their defensive coaching tree.
A great move for Clarence Brooks and a much needed one for the Baltimore Ravens in order to keep him out of the prying eyes of other teams. While most of the attention right now in the NFL is on head coaches, Clarence Brooks looked like the next coach to be poached away to improve a team's defense. By transitioning him over to Senior Defensive Assistant, it gives him a nice promotion to stick around and more importantly, puts him as the next logical person to run the Baltimore Ravens defense.
Make no mistake about it, Brooks is in that spot to help light a fire under current defensive coordinator Dean Pees' butt. If Pees returns another defense like we've seen in the last two seasons, we could see a similar departure as former Baltimore offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Cameron was ousted in the middle of the season to make way for Jim Caldwell.
Clarence Brooks is loved by his players, the other coaches, and the entire organization. Nothing better illustrates that than when he announced that he was battling esophogeal cancer during the season. Like a line out of a Disney movie, the players were firmly in CB's corner when they found out about his battle.
When Head Coach John Harbaugh stood up in the locker room and awarded a game ball to Defensive Line Coach Clarence Brooks after the Ravens defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Oct. 1, the players whooped and cheered. Brooks, the Ravens’ longest-tenured assistant, is a popular and respected figure.
But only Harbaugh and a few others knew that Brooks was being honored in part because doctors had stunned him several days earlier with the news that he had esophageal cancer.
The day after the Pittsburgh game, Brooks told the team, starting with his pupils in the defensive line meeting room. "They just sat there," Brooks said Monday, recalling their stunned reaction. "But then they all said, ‘CB, we’ve got you. We’re going to travel with you.’ It felt really good."
The Ravens would be in a better spot to have Brooks as the main guy coaching the defense, but that will have to wait for now. But his eventual rise to the position could be a lot sooner than anyone would think.