San Francisco 49ers to interview Singletary

OWINGS MILLS -- Former Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Clarence Brooks is the Baltimore Ravens' new defensive line coach, and linebackers coach Mike Singletary could be the next San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator.

Brooks, 53, was hired Wednesday to replace defensive line coach Rex Ryan, who was elevated to coordinator when Mike Nolan became the 49ers' head coach.

The Ravens granted the 49ers permission to interview Singletary, along with an offensive assistant. Nolan could be looking at assistant Jedd Fisch.

Brooks coached the Dolphins defensive line for the last five seasons as Miami registered 44 sacks three times and averaged nearly three sacks a game.

Brooks had four players from his unit reach the Pro Bowl during those seasons: Jason Taylor (2000, 2002 and 2004), Trace Armstrong (2000), Tim Bowens (2002) and Adewale Ogunleye (2003).

"I think Clarence is widely considered as one of, if not the best, defensive line coach in the NFL," Ryan said. "We are really happy to have him on board."

Brooks wasn't retained by new Dolphins coach Nick Saban, who hired former San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach Dan Quinn earlier this week. The Ravens faced competition from other teams for Brooks.

Last season, the Dolphins registered 36 sacks led by Taylor's 9 1/2 sacks and defensive end David Bowens' seven sacks.

"Rex has a superb reputation around the league, he's done some things schematically that I've watched from afar and now I get the chance to work with him and pick his brain a little bit," Brooks said. "The first thing about the defense in general is that they are a very proud group. To play with passion is the key to winning defense, and that's the way these guys play."

Brooks was recommended to Ryan by former Ravens and Dolphins defensive end Rob Burnett. Brooks has previous stints as a defensive line coach with the Chicago Bears (1993 to 1998) and Cleveland Browns (1999).

He inherits a scrappy group that includes defensive ends Tony Weaver and Marques Douglas along with nose guard Kelly Gregg. Douglas is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

"It's a group of some pretty good young talent," Brooks said. "They like to play, you see that by watching tape. They take to coaching well. These guys are going to be very exciting to work with."

NOTES: Running back Jamal Lewis had a successful ankle surgery, with doctors remarking on how high his pain threshold must have been to rush for 167 yards in the season finale win over the Dolphins. ... Offensive tackle Orlando Brown had arthroscopic knee surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. There was a loose chip in his knee that has been removed, and there is no structural damage, meaning he's likely to be 100 percent by minicamps. .. Linebacker Ray Lewis still hopes to play in the Pro Bowl after undergoing surgery recently to repair his twice-broken wrist.

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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