Saban has also been dangled a six-year contract offer worth $3 million annually from LSU, according to published reports. "Jerry Angelo has some people he would like to talk to, and rather than have the strain of traveling across the country back and forth, he wanted to postpone it," Nolan said Thursday at the Ravens' training complex. "Hopefully, we'll get together this weekend."
Meanwhile, Ravens secondary coach Donnie Henderson met Thursday with New York Jets coach Herman Edwards regarding a defensive coordinator job vacant since Ted Cottrell was fired. Henderson has known Edwards for over 25 years and they first met when both were coaching at the college level in California. "I'm excited about the chance to sit down with Herm," Henderson said prior to his interview. "We've been knowing each other for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for him. We'll talk and see how our philosophies mesh."
Henderson oversaw the fourth-ranked pass defense this season and coached Pro Bowl selections in cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed one year after Baltimore finished 26th in passing yards allowed. Henderson is competing with a quality pool of candidates. Among those linked to the Jets' job: Giants defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn, Giants defensive line coach Denny Marcin, Titans linebackers coach Gunther Cunningham, Eagles linebackers coach Ron Rivera, Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and, possibly, former Steelers defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. "I think Donnie's ready for that, and I think he stands a good chance to get that job," Nolan said. "He has done an excellent job here, and I know he will continue to do a great job here if things don't work out. It may or may not happen, but he's certainly ready."
Besides Nolan and Saban, the Bears' list includes Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. Nolan has coached in the NFL for 17 seasons, including stints as a defensive coordinator with the Jets (2000), Washington Redskins (1997 to 1999), New York Giants (1993 to 1996) and Baltimore. Nolan said he already has formulated a plan for assembling a staff and has detailed criteria for offense, defense and special teams.
Chicago went 7-9 in Dick Jauron's final season, finishing third in the NFC North two seasons after a 13-3 mark and a division title. The Bears feature linebacker Brian Urlacher and safety Mike Brown on a defense that ranked 14th overall. They are in transition offensively with the No. 28 offense as they begin to get young quarterback Rex Grossman acclimated. "I think they've done a very good job with personnel," said Nolan, who coached wide receivers for Ravens coach Brian Billick in 2001 before shifting back to defense when Marvin Lewis became the Washington Redskins' defensive boss. "They have some very explosive players. "It's about personnel. It's not about scheme. I think flexibility has to be the key in dealing with the salary cap. You can't have different sides of the building working against each other."
NOTES: Ravens director of player personnel Phil Savage interviewed for the Miami Dolphins' newly-created general manager position earlier this week and remains in contention for a job search likely to be concluded next week. The Dolphins didn't announce retired former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf as a consultant on Thursday, but remain interested in adding the 65-year-old Annapolis resident to go with a new personnel boss. "The Dolphins are a great organization that has won a lot of games," Savage said from the East-West Shrine Game. "At the same time, I've got a great job with the Ravens, and I'd be more than happy to be back with them." ... Minority owner Steve Bisciotti, who will formally assume majority control of the franchise from Art Modell this spring, met Thursday with Billick and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.