Next: John Harbaugh

Eagles assistant interviewing after B. Schottenheimer

Ravens coaching search

January 08, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN REPORTER

Brian Schottenheimer, the New York Jets' offensive coordinator, became the fifth candidate to interview for the Ravens' head coaching position, spending more than four hours yesterday at the team's headquarters.

Next on their interview list is Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh, who has been granted permission to speak to the Ravens and will visit with team officials today.

Though Schottenheimer is considered a long shot, Harbaugh is an intriguing candidate.

Harbaugh, 45, the brother of former Ravens quarterback Jim Harbaugh, is considered one of the rising assistants in the NFL. A longtime special teams coach, Harbaugh switched to defensive assistant in order to better position himself for a head coaching job.

For Schottenheimer, this is the second straight year he has interviewed for a head coaching job. Schottenheimer, 34, was a finalist for the Miami Dolphins' opening last year before withdrawing from consideration to remain with the Jets.

The decision to bring in Schottenheimer was surprising considering he directed a Jets offense that finished in the bottom quarter of the NFL the past two seasons. But his game plan has featured multiple personnel packages, pre-snap shifts and gadget plays that have caught the attention of NFL observers.

After a 4-hour, 20-minute stay at Ravens headquarters - which began with president Dick Cass driving him to the facility and trainer Bill Tessendorf escorting him out - Schottenheimer declined to stop and talk to reporters, saying only "I had a great day" as he walked across the darkened parking lot.

Schottenheimer took heated criticism from the New York media this season for his play-calling.

In a 16-9 loss to Philadelphia in October, he was questioned for not using 130-yard rusher Thomas Jones on third- and fourth-and-one from the Eagles' 4-yard line.

"I don't call the plays," Jones said after the game. "I'm not the offensive coordinator. I do what I'm asked to do."

Brian Schottenheimer could end up competing against his father, Marty, for the Ravens' job. Marty Schottenheimer reportedly wants to wait until the Ravens are finished with their first round of interviews before talking with the team.

Before sitting down with Schottenheimer, the Ravens had planned to meet with Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski yesterday morning. But Chudzinski canceled his interview after signing a two-year contract extension through 2011.

"Romeo [Crennel, Browns coach] and I felt it was important to keep Rob in place as offensive coordinator to maintain our continuity on that side of the ball," Browns general manager Phil Savage said in a statement. "He did a terrific job this year, and we're looking forward to what this group can accomplish next season."

NOTES -- Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a Mount St. Joseph graduate, has been contacted by the Ravens and is expected to interview as early as tomorrow. ... Former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday and is scheduled to meet with the Dolphins today. ... A league source said the Ravens have yet to request permission to speak with San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach Mike Singletary.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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