Who are early candidates to replace Jim Caldwell?
Whoever replaces Jim Caldwell as Ravens offensive coordinator will need to have a strong working relationship with quarterback Joe Flacco. After signing his six-year, $120.6 million contract last offseason, Flacco is the centerpiece of whatever the Ravens do offensively for the foreseeable future.
Coordinators can come and go. In fact, the Ravens are searching for their third coordinator over the past 14 months. But Flacco is not going anywhere anytime soon. So the chemistry between Flacco and the new coordinator is crucial. If the Ravens struggle again offensively next season, the next coordinator may not stay very long.
The list of potential candidates for the Ravens’ coordinator job includes former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, current Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, former Buccaneers, defensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, and current Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
It is difficult to determine which candidate would likely work best with Flacco and his skill set. Flacco has one of the NFL’s best arms, likes to throw deep, likes the no-huddle, and has improved his ability to extend plays in the pocket. He is not the league’s most accurate passer, and his consistency from week to week needs to improve.
Hostler obviously knows Flacco, coach John Harbaugh, and the Ravens’ offense very well. That could give Hostler an edge, but his lone season as an NFL offensive coordinator in 2007 with the 49ers was a failure. The 49ers ranked last in total offense that season and scoring that season. The Ravens may opt for a coordinator with more experience and past success than Hostler.
Flacco had highs and lows working with Caldwell, winning a Super Bowl last February, but suffering through a disappointing 2013 that included a career-high 22 interceptions. The Ravens ranked 29th in total offense last season, and must improve to become contenders again. Choosing the best coordinator for Flacco and their entire offense will be one of the Ravens’ biggest offseason decisions.