Cardinals cancel interview with Ravens' Colletto

Baltimore Ravens offensive line coach Jim Colletto won't be heading west. On Sunday, Arizona coach Dennis Green cancelled an interview with Colletto for the Cardinals' offensive coordinator job that was originally scheduled for Tuesday. "They called and got permission Friday, and I was all set to go on the interview," said Colletto, a former Purdue head coach and Notre Dame offensive coordinator whose blockers paved the way for running back Jamal Lewis, the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

"Coach Green told me that he was going in a different direction and was probably going to hire somebody he had worked with in Minnesota. "It will probably be Alex Wood. Coach Green obviously felt comfortable with a guy he had worked with before." 

Wood is a receivers coach with the Cincinnati Bengals who was the Vikings' quarterbacks coach under Green and Mike Tice from 1999 to 2002. 

Colletto, 59, has 37 years of coaching experience, including 11 combined as a head coach at Purdue and Cal-State Fullerton. Lewis' 2,066 rushing yards this season for the AFC North champions ranks second all-time on NFL single-season charts behind Eric Dickerson's 2,105 yards in 1984. "If you're a line coach in this league, even if you have a coordinator background in college, you're sometimes looked at as someone who knows nothing but offensive line," Colletto said. "It's a hard hurdle to overcome, but you've got to keep plugging away. "I'm 59 now and I was a coordinator for a long time. I would like to be a coordinator again." 

Meanwhile, Ravens coach Brian Billick is interested in former Cardinals offensive coordinator Jerry Sullivan as a potential receivers coach. Sullivan has interviewed with Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans, according to published reports. The Ravens would qualify as having the most stable coaching situation. Billick may hire a few coaches. 

If Sullivan or any receivers coach is hired, then quarterbacks and receivers coach David Shaw's duties could be adapted to allow him to concentrate on quarterbacks and game-planning. Sullivan coached receiver Anquan Boldin, the Offensive Rookie of the Year who caught 101 passes for 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Under Sullivan's direction, though, the Cardinals' offense ranked 27th in the NFL. The team finished 4-12 and coach Dave McGinnis was fired. 

Sullivan coached former Cardinals receiver David Boston, who led the NFL with 1,598 receiving yards in 2001. He also coached receivers Herman Moore, Johnnie Morton and Germane Crowell with the Detroit Lions from 1997 to 2000. 

Secondary coach Donnie Henderson is awaiting word from New York Jets coach Herman Edwards after interviewing last week for the Jets' defensive coordinator job. The Jets fired Ted Cottrell after the season. Henderson coached two Pro Bowl selections in cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed as Baltimore (10-6) finished fourth in pass defense. "We talked philosophy, and his and mine are similar in nature," Henderson said. "He wants to establish toughness, tempo and bring in someone who can lead. I think I proved I can accomplish those things. "He's aware that the personnel has to change, that it has to get younger and faster at some positions. I think he's willing to upgrade." 

Edwards is reportedly considering Titans linebackers coach Gunther Cunningham. Eagles linebackers coach Ron Rivera is another possibility. The Jets have also interviewed former Giants defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn. "I think Herm is still going through the process," Henderson said. "He has two or three more candidates left to talk to. There really isn't a time table. 

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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