ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer believes Jim Hostler will make an excellent offensive coordinator for the Ravens if he gets the job. Hostler, former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson are believed to be the three finalists.
Dilfer was a quarterback with the 49ers during the one season (2007) when Hostler was their offensive coordinator. That was in 2007, when the 49ers finished 5-11 and were last in the NFL in total offense.
So why does Dilfer think Hostler would succeed with the Ravens?
“His experience in San Francisco will really help him if he gets this job,” Dilfer said during a Friday telephone interview. “We were terrible. People love to say, ‘Oh, they were last in the league in offense. That must have been Hoss’. We just weren’t very good personnel-wise. Being in Baltimore these years, being around good people, having great successes but also struggling offensively at times will give him perspective.
“I think he’s a really good candidate, really good with players, he’s good at the front of the room. How you install plays in the NFL is very important, but how you present yourself in front of the room and how well you communicate is important. I think it’d be a smart hire.’’
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Hostler has been the Ravens wide receivers coach the past six seasons, and Dilfer said that long relationship with quarterback Joe Flacco gave Hostler an edge.
“With a veteran quarterback like Joe (Flacco), I think it will be a good partnership with Hoss,” Dilfer said. “Every good offense I see around the league usually has a good partnership between the quarterback and the coordinator. You have to do what your people do best. I think that’s what Hoss learned in San Francisco. He didn’t know what Alex (Smith) did best. He didn’t know what I did best. It was hard to develop an offensive system, when he didn’t know what his quarterback did best, and his skill position people weren’t that good. All he really had was Frank Gore.
“I think being around Joe all these years, he’ll have a very good feel for what Joe’s good with, for what Torrey (Smith) is good with, and he knows the two running backs really well.”
Whoever the Ravens hire, Dilfer says their offense needs to improve for the Ravens to be Super Bowl contenders again.
“I don’t know what their philosophy was last year,” Dilfer said. “It was hard to figure out. I’m not blaming anybody, but last year was interesting studying them. I couldn’t get a handle on what they were doing.”
If Hostler is promoted to offensive coordinator, he will get more credit, or blame, for what the Ravens do next season.