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OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with Aaron Wilson and Adam Caplan:

Nothing new on coaches but I expect a few more to get interviews

Guys, I spoke to Marty Schottenheimer today. He was at the Mayo Clinic due to an illness in the family, not life-threatening. He agreed to do an interview in a few days. As you may have gathered from the article on the front page, there were no interviews today with the Ravens.

Team owner Steve Bisciotti was away, apparently taking one of his kids back to college in New Jersey.

An interview with me, that is, not the Ravens necessarily, although I do expect them to talk to Marty at some point.

Marty is unlikely to get the job unless he would be willing to accept that he doesn't have final say in personnel.

that's always been a problem for him

and even then, how long he's willing to coach is another issue

6,0Is the Sparano to Miami rumor just that, or do you think it's a done deal?

BIRD: As I wrote about hours after Parcells got the team president job for Miami, I expected him to hire Sparano

they're tight and Parcells thinks he's a great fit for his philosophy

Adam, what do you think about John Harbaugh's coaching ability and his chances as a dark horse candidate? A lot of team officials were buzzing about him after yesterday's interview.

He's a sharp guy like his brother

many around the NFL believe he'll be a head coach some day

very well organized

6,0How far will Jerry Jones go to keep Garrett? Should Phillips be nervous?

would be a darkhorse for sure for the job

BIRD: IF they lose this week, Wade could be in trouble

6,0Would the Ravens be interested in Wade if Jones fires him?

Depends first if the Ravens get the coach hired by the end of the week (Sunday). how does the Joe Gibbs retirement affect the Ravens HC search? Are we targeting the same candidates or is Gregg Williams a slam dunk?

Is there a real chance Jon Gruden gets fired? I heard where the GM was hiring and firing his coaches.

And some college coaches could be looked at

JS: No, Gruden isn't going anywhere

but some of his assistants are 12 are not under contract now

RAVE: They have a mostly older staff who are probably done coaching

Adam, do you think Marvin Lewis wants out of Cincinnati? And do you think Baltimore would pursue him?

Byner, Greg Williams, Al Saunders will stay

Williams should get the job

AA: HE would only want out if he doesn't get what he wants this year

he wants a GM

they don't really have a good scouting department either

weird situation there

Gibbs, Cam, Billick out. How many others do you expect to see turn over? that's an understatement...real quality guys they bring in there :)

No more head coaches but there are lots of assistants around the league that are moving on

they will be looking for jobs in Mobile next week

at senior bowl

not even Coughlin should they lose this week?

Adam, do you think the Ravens need to have this wrapped up prior to the Senior Bowl or does it matter as far as lining up a potential staff?

If Owens isn't in there it could be interesting

AA: I think they get it done next week

and hire the staff through Senior Bowl week

which begins on 1/21

In your opinion, who do you think the Ravens should hire and who you think they will hire?

AA: I don't have a true pick for their head coach yet but I would hire Harbaugh, they need a good young coach

could you see Jim leaving his college gig and joining the staff?

RAV: No, can't see it

6,0How badly does firing our entire coaching staff set us back in preparing for free agency and the draft?

he's building something good at Stanford

BI: Not a big deal as long as you get a good head coach

Ozzie makes all personnel decisions anyway

it's just an odd situation to be in now

Is Eric Decosta's name being talked around as a potential GM on another team around the league?

RAV: Not really

Do you think Bisciotti's corporate approach works in today's NFL or is he like many of the younger owners?

but he has a chance in a few years

The ATL job is on hold until they speak to Pete Carroll

AA: I won't know if it's a corporate approach at all

6,0We had a lot of young guys on the team this year and my concern is that no one is working with these guys to help them continue 6,0their development in the off-season. Is that a realistic concern?

I just think he flip flopped on Billick right to the end

sorry if this has already been addressed adam but who do you believe is the frontrunner for the ravens head coaching gig?

GID: I don't know if they have one just yet

you'll see some others get interviewed over nexr 4-5 days

BI: As long as they get the coach hired within a few weeks it should be fine

OTAs start in March

basically

you want the head coach to be involved in free agency

what are you hearing regarding holgrem out in seattle? is there a legitimate chance this is his last year?

and to get his input on players to fit the system

GID: He's in a year to year situation

and he's not the biggest fan of the GM

will who we draft in the first round be impacted by who we select as coach, or will that be ozzie's thing for the most part?

6,0NFL Network has speculated that Dungy will retire this year also. Any guess on whether or not that happens?

RAVE: The player that they go with will likely be selected for the system they run on offense (should they go that way).

If you were a betting man would you say Ogden will be back next year?

BI: He seems to be enjoying it so I would say not yet

GID: He wants to see who they hire

Do you think Jim Schwartz is a legitimate candidate? They have yet to seek permission to talk to him. I'm hearing it's hard for management to think of him as a head-coaching candidate after his early years as a gofer on Ted Marchibroda's staff in Baltimore.

he seemed to be happy Billick was gone

AA: I've been writing about him for three years as one of the next best head coaching candidates

he's very sharp

But owners looking for offensive minded head coach are passing on him

that's why Rex hasn't gotten a job

yet he's a solid prospect for one

Which candidate(s) would you expect to be the frontrunner(s) for the Ravens HC job at this point?

if he doesn't get the raven's head coaching job do you think Rex is headed to Cinci?

LB: I wouldn't call anyone a front runner

at this point

they are currently evaluating where they stand

Rex is in a strange situation having interviewed for three jobs, but apparently unlikely to land any of the three. His patience is wearing thin with the Ravens.

ok, thanks

But one could emerge very soon

GID: CIn may look at Donnie Henderson

and Rex

any idea on if we are leaning towards either offence or defense for the draft?

Henderson, as I wrote, is a consultant for the Bengals

I heard that, too. That management in Cincinnati wouldn't let Marvin hire Donnie as coordinator, but they would accept Rex.

RAVE: Way too early to know but they will go with a QB on first day

or in first round if they trade down

very good draft for QBs

but no franchise types

AA: I can't see the owner blocking Henderson if Marvin wants him

the owner has final say

they have no GM

do you think there is any serious consideration at all on the ravens' part to bring in Marvin Lewis?

where do you rate Joe Flacco of Delaware among the QBs? Erik Ainge?

LB: About #3 of all of them

It seems that if the Ravens could go with a CB in the first and one of those guys in the 2nd or 3rd, it would be ideal

saw him play quite a bit

best arm in the draft

interesting

wow

very much like Jay Cutler

and Derek Anderson

that's impressive

a big Jay Cutler

haha

not afraid to throw into tight coverage

yes

isnt he shorter then troy smith? not like thats all that matters, but we could get him very late

he weighed in last week at 238

6'5 3/8

do you expect him do last until the 2nd round

...im thinking of someone else then

LB: Could go in first

big guy

he plays in East West Shrine game next week

I'll keep my eye out for him

and is on the list for the senior bowl if one of the QBs gets hurt

I like Ainge and Henne

for later on

I do too

All: That's all the time I have, we'll do it again when I get back from Senior Bowl week

good stuff

Aaron, if he doesn't get one of the head coaching jobs where do you think Rex ends up

Well, hopefully the Ravens will contact Schwartz

Cincinnati in all likelihood. It would be awkward to have him come back as a defensive coordinator in Baltimore since the players wanted him to be the head coach.

Very interesting that Flacco could be a first rounder

So far they haven't gotten in touch with Jim Schwartz. I heard he had a funeral to attend prior to the Falcons' interview. The funeral was in Maryland, apparently his grandfather passed away.

he wouldnt want to just retain his job here and wait for a head coaching possibility next year?

Flacco's stock will likely skyrocket at the scouting combine.

With Rex, it's difficult, because he was the players' choice and he and they may resent him being passed over. Not may, they will. do you think Harbough has jumped ahead of the two dallas assistants?

No.

I think they would hire either of those two guys before him.

I did hear they were impressed and I wouldn't rule him out.

Are there any other candidates that may give Garret a run for his money?

Nothing would surprise me at this point. It's a fairly disjointed deal since the first four interviews.

Yes, Sparano if he wasn't a lock for Miami, Rex, Marty and Harbaugh.

do you think Marty is a serious candidate or more of a fallback option if one of the top assistants isnt available?

I think he's someone that Ozzie Newsome is very serious about.

They would have to work out personnel power, though.

how many years do you think he could give us?

AW, sorry if I missed this and I know it's still early, but do you have any inkling that the Ravens would be interested in taking a QB high in 2008?

obviously not something you would know, but speculate what he would have to do for us to take him

are you hearing anything about suggs' contract situation? do you think there's any chance at all they let him walk?

Marty Ball could work for three to four years. He's a very vital guy for his age.

I don't think it's a lock they use their first-round pick on a quarterback, but a first-day selection could be in the cards.

It's quiet with Suggs, but he's not walking. They'll keep him by either franchising him or signing him to a new deal. It's looking more likely he gets franchised.

troy and colt/flacco next year? scary possibility

Maybe. I heard they liked Flacco. Not sure if they're high on Colt Brennan.

6,0Re:Rex...any chance the Ravens are just going slow with hiring him so that they can assure everyone Rex wasn't just a "players 6,0choice" choice? Going slow so they can say they did a lot of inteviews but like Rex best?

in the front office's opinion how much of suggs' down year was a result of Pryce being out?

I think it's a possibility they want to dispel that notion, but this search is about more than public relations. It's about examining whether they need to really dramatically change the entire coaching operation. Those that want change and there are many advising the owner of that, will be unlikely to recommend hiring Rex in my opinion.

They attributed it a lot to Pryce's absence. They do need to coach him better on breaking down into a good football position so he doesn't miss so many potential sacks and tackles for losses.

How many people have input in this process?

whats next year looking like for mcnair and boller?

Really the only people with any true say are Bisciotti, Newsome and Cass. Everyone else has a voice, but a much quieter one in this search.

Garrett is still their top choice as you have hinted at?

McNair could be in trouble depending on the coach that comes in. I think Boller at least will be the backup.

Don't rule out them trying to resurrect McNair. Contractually, they're pretty bound to him.

Yes, I still think they want Garrett. I also think Bisciotti is willing to compete with Miami for Sparano's services. He likes him a lot.

Your take on Harbaugh seemed very positive. Do you think he's fairly high on the list?

Cass is a big Garrett fan. Ozzie likes Marty Ball. Any of the three would be a good choice.

I really do think he's creating a lot of buzz at One Winning Drive. They are taking him seriously.

A dark horse like him might turn out to be a good deal in the end.

Didn't the Tuna begin hiring coordinators for Sporano? It would be odd to think he'd come here!

Do you think it's a bad or stubborn move to attempt to resurrect McNair's career?

I know that they can not interview Garrett or Sparano right now. But are they allowed any contact with him at all while the Cowboys are in the playoffs?

He had a good point when he said that coaches like Andy Reid were not coordinators before becoming head coaches

6,0Well, Shitsburgh did pretty well by passing over their own guys and bringing in a dark horse. I could see S.B. being impressed by 6,0that.

Tuna already hired a quarterbacks coach for Sparano: David Lee.

I think it's bad and stubborn to try to revitalize McNair. I think he's done.

so maybe Billick wasn't the only stubborn one.

I agree about McNair

There can't be any contact with those coaches until after the NFC title game if they make it that far.

Do you see a QB in the first round of the draft...Ryan?

He was done by the Denver game in 2006, in my opinion.

I doubt they will go quarterback that early. There will be better football players available.

Thanks Aaron, that is what I thought. Of course, the new head coach might think differently and they might want to accomodate the new guy's wishes. Happens all the time in the NFL.

Defensive backs? Who perhaps?

Malcolm Jenkins, perhaps

Jenkins! Wow!

Aaron, if the ravens go with a younger asst would that possibly indicate that there may be a purge of some veterans

versus going with a marty type and trying to extend the window with some of the vets

Not necessarily. They wouldn't just cut starters just because they were worried that he couldn't coach those guys. If they had that concern, why even hire the guy?

does anyone know how gholston's performance in the championship game effected his stock? i heard he was pretty invisible, i didnt get to watch the game myself

no, i meant would it signal that the front office wanted to clean up the salary cap issue all in one year

Paulie believes this may be a lost year. Do you concur? They are making a huge gamble...

I think big games like that do affect draft boards. The Senior Bowl and combine are pivotal, too.

Oh, okay. I think their cap problems will take care of themselves as retirements, cutting players will do that. Over the next two seasons, the team will become appreciably younger.

I think next year could be a rebuilding year, yes.

With the right coach, they could turn it around, though.

Who can really say accurately?

It's a crazy league.

gotcha...i was thinking going with a young guy might indicate a grander plan was in place to clean up the salary issues and get younger

Well, the two can go hand in hand, but there's been no one saying that's the agenda. Does it make sense to me? Sure, it does.

Say the Cowboys lose. How fast do you think the Ravens respond on Garrett?

Yes, that was something I wanted to know too

I'm hoping they lose.

I think they would be a bidding situation with Atlanta and maybe Washington because I've heard Gregg Williams' star has fallen down there.

Romo is thinking of Jessica!

I think Baltimore would try to get Garrett signed right away.

Apparently, he is. But who wouldn't go to Mexico with her during a bye?

i'd be all over that

OK, if Garrett is signed and Rex doesn't get a HC job, do you think he'll stay on if Garrett wants him?

I think if the Cowboys go one and done they're fire Phillips and hire Garrett themselves

I don't blame him even if she did jinx a key fantasy football game for me that cost me a chance to win the media league. No, I'm not bitter. :)

Maybe. They will have to give Rex some love in the form of assistant head coach and some more cash.

what do you think is the more attractive job? washington or baltimore? obviously baltimore had a far worse year...but i think that both teams have good chance for success in 08...plus the management cant look favorable in DC

But he deserves that, at least, I think

Honestly, I think the Redskins' immediate situation is better if they can get their salary cap in order. Long-term, I would go with Baltimore based on their general manager and nucleus of talent.

Couple more, guys. what do you think the future of musa smith and mike anderson is? do you think we'll draft a back in the 3rd-4th round if musa doesnt return?

I think Musa has some chances of being retained, but isn't a lock. I'll be shocked if Mike Anderson is back.

They could use a new back. I'm not sold on P.J. Daniels.

Do you think Jason Brown gets moved to center next year? what's the front office's long term prognosis of Chester?

ah yes, cory ross and daniels always disappear from my attention, honestly i wasnt thinking of them at all

now that's a good question

What about Pittman? I'm not impressed with him at all.

I don't think they plan to move Jason Brown to center. I think they are concerned about Chester's development.

i believe it was ross who had a pretty inspiring game against the steelers

Pittman had one good game against a backup quarterback. I wouldn't bank on him at cornerback, either.

..in other words he's viewed as a bust?

Ross did a nice job, he's a tough kid.

They could use a back though.

Pittman is a bust.

One game isn't a breakthrough.

i bet hes wishing it was though haha

They do need a back and a cornerback and another pass rusher and a quarterback and a game-breaking wide receiver, etc..

And a head coach, too.

do they think chester is a bust too? what does the FO think of Troy Smith's future at this point?

They think Chester might be too small.

sorry just got here.... any timetable for when the coach is hired?

They like Troy Smith, but they're not overreacting to a couple of decent games.

are we done round 1 of interviews?

Maybe next week, but more likely after the Super Bowl.

This was the first phase.

do you think Harbaugh gets the job?

Leading candidate is Garrett.

Harbaugh as DC?

I doubt Harbaugh gets the job, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Have you had a chance to talk to Billick since that day in the carpark when he was loading up his truck?

I don't think they are going to pick the coaches' staff for him.

No, and I doubt I'll get to talk to Brian anytime soon.

Of all the coaches, I think he is the future HOF that SB wanted

Harbaugh is very impressive.

Do you think Garrett would take the job if offered?

Is garrett just a coach who's looking good because of the talent he has to use I know he made a strong impression on the Ravens, and vice versa.

do you see any vet QBs becoming available that the Ravens might try to plug in next year? or are we stuck with what we have and the draft?

Yes, I think Garrett might. But I expect Jerry Jones to make it difficult because he'll counteroffer.

Pray Garrett is apt to come here, then. You're stuck with what you have and the draft.

Aaron who do you think would be the best choice

Jason Garrett.

or Marty Schottenheimer.

is garret just a product of the talent in dallas though?

Would we consider dropping back from #8?

No, I think he's really smart

Ivy league guy

Yes, but it will be difficult to trade back. Hard to find a partner.

any ideas as possible coaches that he could bring in?

but I am partial to marty and I dont know why

Some of the Dallas coaches, I'm sure.

...troy aikman?

Nope.

Troy likes being a television star.

And he's pretty good at it.

Do you have a feeling of what position we may look at round 1?

Cornerback.

Vernon Gholston seems like a Raven to me

But that can always change.

thanks aaron, you're the man

Pass rush needs some new blood.

Thanks, Aaron. Great as usual


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