The Cleveland Browns had a dismal 2016 season, and at the end of it, we saw a slew of coaching changes come at the tail end, with many of them coming at the expense of individuals who had just joined, or re-joined, the coaching staff for that season. At least a half-dozen coaches got the boot, with another leaving for the college ranks.
The Baltimore Ravens are now the latest team in the AFC North to shake up their coaching staff, announcing the changes yesterday via their website. You will recall of course that the changeover already began in the middle of last season when they dumped their offensive coordinator and promoted their quarterbacks coach to that role. It didn’t exactly work out the way it did last time in 2012 when they did the same thing and won the Super Bowl.
The thing that distinguishes the Ravens’ coaching changes and the wholesale changes that the Browns underwent however is the fact that Baltimore’s shakeup became necessary when they actually lost coaches who went on to promotions with other teams.
Secondary coach Leslie Frazier accepted a defensive coordinator job earlier this offseason with the Bills. He served in the capacity of secondary coach for the Ravens in 2016. Chris Hewitt was the secondary coach in 2015 before Frazier came on board, and moved to an assistant role as a result. Now he is back as the secondary coach.
Joining Hewitt is Mike Macdonald, who was a defensive assistant and has now received a promotion to the title of defensive backs coach. For the life of me, I do not understand why some teams have a secondary coach and a defensive backs coach. Are these not synonymous terms? The Browns were the same way.
The Ravens also lost Juan Castillo to the Bills, who made the move from offensive line coach to offensive line coach, with the addition of serving as Buffalo’s run-game coordinator. Replacing Castillo to coach Baltimore’s offensive line is Joe D’Alessandris, an Aliquippa native who was out of the coaching ranks last year, but has a long history at both the college and professional levels of instructing offensive linemen.
Also receiving a promotion was Drew Wilkins, who was a defensive assistant and will now work with Joe Cullen in his second year as the Ravens’ defensive line coach. Wilkins will be Cullen’s assistant as the two work to continue to replace Baltimore’s longest-tenured assistant coaching position.
I do find it a bit of a surprise that no change has been made regarding either the offensive coordinator or quarterback coaching positions. Marty Mornhinweg was the quarterbacks coach when he was promoted to offensive coordinator and had to wear multiple hats.
At least at this current time, it appears that the Ravens intend to keep him on board as offensive coordinator despite relatively poor results, and even some negative comments. They have not hired a quarterbacks coach, either. Yet the offense could use more improvement than their defense.