He's willing

Elder Schottenheimer appears open to speaking with team

Coaching Search

January 18, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun Reporter

After getting stiff-armed by Jason Garrett yesterday, the Ravens regrouped for the next phase of their head coaching search, which could eventually include veteran coach Marty Schottenheimer, an NFL source said.

Schottenheimer, who would be the biggest name attached to the Ravens' search, is not expected to get involved until the Ravens are done with this coming round of talks, the source added.

Schottenheimer, 64, is the sixth-winningest coach in NFL history with 200 career regular-season victories, and only two losing seasons in 21 years.

While Schottenheimer repeatedly said he has enjoyed the year away from coaching, he seemed open to talking to the Ravens at some point about their head coaching job.

"I think it's a terrific organization. They know how to win football games, and that's the most important thing to any decision I might make with regards to my coaching future," Schottenheimer said yesterday from his North Carolina home. "That having been said, I'm not going to rule out anything at this juncture."

There is a chance the Ravens could make a hire before talking to Schottenheimer.

Though no interviews have been scheduled yet, the Ravens are expected to conduct second talks with Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh and New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Marty's son.

Earlier this week, the Ravens had established Harbaugh as their fallback option if Garrett declined their offer, a league source said. Harbaugh remains highly regarded and could still be hired by the team, the source added.

But the Ravens spent more than two hours yesterday re-evaluating their search after Garrett, their clear-cut top candidate, decided to remain the Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator.

"We did negotiate with Jason Garrett to become our head coach," the Ravens said in a news release. "In the end, he decided to stay in Dallas. We're continuing our second round of interviews. We're excited with the candidates, and we're confident we will select the best head coach for the Ravens."

Though Harbaugh is high on the Ravens' list, some league observers said Brian Schottenheimer is even higher.

Marty Schottenheimer likely won't get involved in the Ravens' search until his son is eliminated from it.

"Brian and I and Ozzie [Newsome, the Ravens' general manager] have a good understanding about it," Schottenheimer said.

If the Ravens hired the elder Schottenheimer, he could hire Cam Cameron as his offensive coordinator and have a couple of options at defensive coordinator.

With a veteran head coach, the Ravens might be able to persuade Rex Ryan to return as defensive coordinator.

Or the Ravens could try to hire Harbaugh for that position. Last season, Eagles coach Andy Reid didn't block Steve Spagnuolo from becoming the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, a division rival.

Whatever direction the Ravens go in, one team official reiterated that they are not going to rush their search.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Sun columnist Mike Preston and reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

THE CHOICES

Jamison Hensley's look at the candidates who will likely emerge in the Ravens' second round:

Marty Schottenheimer

Status: Retired

Age: 64

Pro: Most logical choice; two losing seasons in 21 years as head coach

Con: Age precludes him from being long-term answer

John Harbaugh

Status: Eagles secondary coach

Age: 45

Pro: Energy, charisma and youth would be "fresh blood" Bisciotti wants

Con: Has never been a head coach at any level

Brian Schottenheimer

Status: Jets offensive coordinator

Age: 34

Pro: Has pedigree to develop into solid head coach

Status: His offenses ranked 25th in 2006 and 26th last season

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