After Adam Schefter’s report late Saturday night that Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees plans to retire at the conclusion of the Ravens’ season, the next order of business will be to fill his shoes and find a replacement.
That will be no easy task, as Pees’ unit has pitched three shutouts so far in 2017, with at least one more game left to play.
If the Ravens win in week 17, the search for a new defensive coordinator will be shelved for at least another week, and it will be unlikely that we’ll hear any names from outside of the organization arise. However, we are not bound by those rules, so let the speculation begin!
Tis the season of pink slips, as reports indicate Colts head coach Chuck Pagano will be given the boot at the conclusion of Week 17. This makes sense because he held the same position in Baltimore before leaving for Indianapolis in 2012. Pagano was with the Ravens from 2008-2011, with his lone season as defensive coordinator coming in 2011. This is a name that will likely draw a lot of attention due to his ties to Baltimore and the fact that he is unlikely to see another head coaching job at the NFL level anytime soon.
Jack Del Rio
While the Raiders haven’t parted ways with Del Rio, there are reports that Oakland has an ownership stake offer on the table for Jon Gruden. Del Rio served as the linebackers coach in Baltimore from 1999-2001, during the years when the Ravens fielded arguably the greatest defense of all time with linebackers Peter Boulware and Ray Lewis. This is contingent on Del Rio being shown the door in Oakland, but it is a possibility. One thing the be weary about is that while Del Rio is a defensive minded coach, the Raiders defense has struggled during his tenure. Although it has improved after a midseason change, that’s something to keep in mind.
Yet another big name that has ties to the Ravens organization. Austin served as the secondary coach in Baltimore from 2011-2013 before taking the defensive coordinator job in Detroit. This hire would likely be dependent on Jim Caldwell being fired in Detroit, but that’s not something that sounds unreasonable. I’d like to think that this one is a longshot, as Austin has drawn some buzz as a head coaching candidate, but if he doesn’t find a job he likes, Baltimore has a lot of talent that could help beef up a resume for a future head coach position.
Don ‘Wink’ Martindale
The Ravens have a history of promoting from within when it comes to defensive coordinators. If I had to guess, Martindale seems like the most likely candidate based on tenure and experience. Martindale served as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2010, so he has experience in the role and could likely do whatever the team prefers with the talent they have. Martindale currently serves as the linebackers coach, but with the amount of respect he has within int he organization, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the tap on the shoulder.
Chris Hewitt currently serves as the Ravens secondary coach and considering as a team the Ravens have intercepted 22 passes, it would be hard to overlook him as a legitimate candidate for the promotion. Hewitt doesn't have the experience or tenure of some of the other guys on this list, but it’s hard to overlook what his unit has accomplished this year.
The name is going to be thrown out there a lot, as it was when he was on the market in 2014, but I can’t imagine this happening. Ryan has a nice TV job and he hasn't been a coordinator in nearly 10 years. I’d find it hard to believe that Ryan would want to come back to the NFL as a coordinator, although it would make for some fun pressers!
Whoever takes over as the defensive coordinator will be inheriting a gold mine. As I mentioned earlier, the Ravens have pitched three shutouts this season and will return a unit that is loaded with talent. Having the likes of Tony Jefferson, Eric Weddle, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Williams, Matt Judon and C.J. Mosley under contract should be enough to net the Ravens any defensive coordinator they like.
Who would you like to see as the next defensive coordinator?
Who do you want as the next defensive coordinator of the Ravens?
This poll is closed
Jack Del Rio
Other (Answer in the comments!)