Club hires Rosburg to run special teams

January 31, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Having an extra set of eyes watching his players doesn't seem to bother Jerry Rosburg.

Rosburg, introduced as the Ravens' special teams coordinator yesterday, will coach a unit that is an area of expertise for head coach John Harbaugh, who was the Philadelphia Eagles' special teams coordinator for nine years.

But Rosburg, 52, said he isn't fazed.

"I don't think it's pressure," said Rosburg, a special teams coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons this past season and the Cleveland Browns for six years previously. "It's really a bonus to have John there, to bounce things off of John and have his expertise. ... I'm fortunate to have John as my boss, but not only that, as my confidant. ...

"There's all different kinds of ways of doing things, and I think having John in the office down the hall is going to be a great resource."

Harbaugh was the assistant head coach at the University of Cincinnati when Rosburg coached the linebackers and secondary there between 1992 and 1995.

"We think the same way on special teams," Harbaugh said. "Jerry's a football coach, and he's proven a lot in this league as a special teams coordinator."

Rosburg's special teams in Atlanta finished the 2007 season ranked second in the NFL in opponents' average starting field position (25.5) and eighth in opponents' punt return average (7.5 yards).

Before Atlanta, Rosburg was the special teams coordinator for the Browns for six seasons. In 2006, his unit ranked second in average starting field position on kickoffs (31.4) and fourth in opponents' average starting field position (25.3).

Rosburg inherits a Ravens unit that ranked ninth in punt-return average (9.7) and 10th in kick-return average (23.5) in 2007. Kicker Matt Stover completed his ninth consecutive season with a field-goal conversion rate of at least 84 percent, and return specialist Yamon Figurs was one of only five players to score kick- and punt-return touchdowns in the same season.

"There are a lot of real good athletes that play the game the way it was intended to be played - very physically and with a lot of emotion, a lot of excitement," Rosburg said of the Ravens' players. "That's something that I'd like to carry on here."

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, the former Miami Dolphins head coach who was hired last week, also was introduced yesterday. He deferred questions about his evaluation of the personnel but said he has spoken to quarterbacks Steve McNair and Kyle Boller.

"We visited for a while today," Cameron said of McNair. "Obviously, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and that was a positive visit. I was with Kyle for a few hours in California the other day. You're just touching base with these guys. ... I was impressed with both of those guys."

Notes -- The Ravens announced that they have retained Vic Fangio as special assistant to the head coach, Wade Harman as tight ends coach and Mark Carrier as defensive backs coach. ... Running back Willis McGahee was named to his first Pro Bowl yesterday. McGahee, a second alternate who will replace the San Diego Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), rushed for 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns. ... Cameron said he has yet to talk to offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and gauge his plans. Ogden said this week he is still leaning toward retirement. "I've reached out to him and I'm sure we'll touch base in the next few days," Cameron said.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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