Ravens' search stalls, Cowher not interested

OWINGS MILLS -- After five consecutive days of interviewing candidates for their head-coaching vacancy, the Baltimore Ravens' search committee hit the pause button Wednesday. With team owner Steve Bisciotti away from the team's training complex Wednesday and the team having met with six coaching prospects so far, the Ravens didn't conduct any interviews for the first time since last week.

The Ravens have yet to ask permission to speak to Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a Baltimore native who will interview later this week with the Atlanta Falcons. At some point, the Ravens are expected to hold discussions with former San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer.

However, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher apparently won't be in the Ravens or any NFL teams' plans as he reiterated that he has no interest in returning to the sidelines for next season and hasn't heard from Ravens team officials.

"I don't have any plans to coach in 2008," Cowher told USA Today. "No one from Baltimore has contacted me. I want to spend more time with my family, and I'm really enjoying and trying to get better at my job at CBS."

Meanwhile, recently-dismissed Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is keeping his options open after interviewing for the Ravens' opening as well as the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins' respective coaching jobs.

"Shoot, I'm fortunate to be considered," Ryan said. "I think there's a lot of outstanding coaches out there. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to get a chance to run my own show and be a head football coach."

The son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan, Ryan, 45, has also been mentioned in connection with the Washington Redskins' opening created by Joe Gibbs' abrupt retirement or he could be in line to become Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis' defensive coordinator.

Ryan, who coached the Ravens' defense to rankings of fifth, first and sixth overall over the past three years, met with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and executives Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland.

"It was great," Ryan said. "It's all football with coach Parcells. Without question, I enjoyed my visit.

"I always take the approach of, 'I'm too dumb to lie.' I'm going to tell you like it is. I'm going to be myself. If that's good enough to get the job, then great. If not, then you move on and go to a different place."

Besides Ryan, the Ravens have interviewed Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano, Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh.

NOTE: Free safety Ed Reed was the lone Ravens player voted onto the Associated' Press All-Pro team.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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