The Baltimore Ravens coaching staff had been nearly picked clean heading into the weekend with several positional coaches and other key assistants getting hired by other teams seemingly every week since their playoff run ended last month.
Some of the biggest losses were assistant head coach/pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach David Culley who was hired to be the Texans’ next head coach and defensive line coach Joe Cullen who was hired to be the defensive coordinator of the Jaguars.
Both coaches brought a contingent of the Ravens assistant coaches with them to their new destinations, leaving several holes on the staff in the process.
According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the team filled a handful of vacancies with four hires. The brought in a pair on each side of the ball with the most notable being renowned wide receiver guru Keith Williams as the passing game specialist.
He is a former college wide receivers’ coach but is venerated most for his work as a personal position coach for some of the best wideouts in the league. Williams has worked with All-Pros and perennial Pro Bowlers Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers and Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Keith has extensive experience working as a personal coach for some of the NFL’s top wide receivers,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “His offensive knowledge – particularly in the passing game – and his ability to get the very best out of his players aligns well with the values of our coaching staff.”
Taking over Culley’s duties as the wide receiver coach will be Tee Martin who was an offensive assistant for USC from 2012-2018 and most recently served as the assistant head coach and wide receiver coach at the University of Tennessee.
During his time with the Trojans, he helped develop several stud NFL wideouts such as Juju Smith-Schuster, Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor, and Marqise Lee.
Martin played quarterback for the Vols from 1996-1999 and led them to a national championship in 1998. He was picked before Tom Brady in the fifth round of the infamous 2000 draft class and is the father of dynamic wide receiver prospect and former Clemson standout Amari Rodgers.
“Tee is a natural, charismatic leader, whose bright offensive mind will benefit our young group of wideouts,” Harbaugh said. “His history of coaching standout receivers on the collegiate level will translate well to the NFL.”
The presence of both Williams and Martin will be welcomed additions to the staff after the Ravens finished last in passing yards, attempts, and yards per game in 2020 and got the least amount of production from their wide receiver corps than any other team in the league.
Former Wayne State linebackers coach Jay Paterson will serve as the assistant linebackers coach alongside Rob Ryan who was hired to replace Mike Macdonald as the linebackers coach.
“Jay is a proven collegiate coach who has a terrific ability to connect with and mentor his players,” Harbaugh stated. “He will work well with Rob helping guide and further develop our young linebacker corps.”
Former Charleston Southern defensive line coach Jason Brooks will be the assistant defensive line coach to Anthony Weaver who was hired to replace Cullen as the defensive line coach and will also serve as the defensive run game coordinator.
“Jason has spent time with the Ravens organization and understands first-hand the culture of our team,” Harbaugh stated. “His late father, Clarence – who is one of the best coaches I’ve had the opportunity to be around – was a tremendous influence on his son in countless ways. We are excited to welcome Jason back to our coaching staff.”
While the poaching of talented players, coaches, scouts, and executives is a direct reflection of the respect and adoration a team commands around the league, hopefully, the mass exodus of the Ravens’ assistant coaches has finally subsided.
Harbaugh and the Ravens continue to be on the forefront of promoting diversity with their coaching ranks by filling six of their seven vacancies with qualified candidates of color including six African-Americans and one—Weaver—of Irish and Samoan decent.