Either Jim Hostler or Kyle Shanahan will be the Ravens’ next offensive coordinator. CSN-Baltimore has confirmed that Kirby Wilson is no longer a candidate. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wilson will leave the Steelers as running backs coach to join the Vikings staff under new head coach Mike Zimmer.
That leaves the Ravens’ offensive coordinator choice down to Hostler, their current wide receivers coach, or Shanahan, the former Redskins and Texans offensive coordinator. A decision between Hostler and Shanahan was expected within the next few days.
ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer endorsed Hostler for the Ravens job during a Friday telephone interview. Dilfer was a quarterback with the 49ers in 2007, when Hostler spent one unsuccessful season as their offensive coordinator. The 49ers finished 5-11 that year and ranked 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. “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.’’
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.
“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.”
However, Shanahan has obviously impressed coach John Harbaugh during interviews. Shanahan also has six seasons of experience as a coordinator, compared to Hostler’s one season as a coordinator. So the choice is down to the in-house candidate Hostler, or Shanahan, who would probably bring a more dramatic change as a play-caller.