M. Schottenheimer contacted again by Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- As the Baltimore Ravens' search committee regrouped Thursday after a humbling rejection from Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, they made contact again with veteran coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Although no initial interview was immediately scheduled with Schottenheimer and a second round of meetings with Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh hasn't been set up yet, Schottenheimer is in the mood to hear the Ravens' sales pitch.

"At this juncture, I would certainly be willing to sit down and listen," Schottenheimer said in a telephone interview from his North Carolina home. "Any ultimate decision between two parties would be hard to predict. The Ravens have a job they're trying to get done.

"I think it's an excellent organization. They know how to win football games, and the most important thing to any decision I might make with regards to my coaching future will be driven by the people in the house. That's the most important consideration for Marty Schottenheimer."

Schottenheimer, 64, remains a viable option for the Ravens along with Harbaugh, who didn't hear from the Ravens on Thursday after being contacted last weekend and told to expect a second interview. New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Marty's son, could also garner a second interview.

It's believed that Marty Schottenheimer and general manager Ozzie Newsome, the Hall of Fame tight end who played for Schotenheimer with the Cleveland Browns, have already worked out how to avoid any potential complications stemming from the unusual situation of a father and son being under consideration for the same job.

Schottenheimer has just two losing campaigns in 21 NFL seasons with an all-time record of 200-126-1, but he doesn't meet team owner Steve Bisciotti's criteria of pursuing a coach with possible longevity.

At this stage, Schottenheimer is waiting to see what the Ravens' next move is. That stance is mirrored by Harbaugh, who made a strong impression on the Ravens with his energy, detailed organizational plan and upbeat approach.

"Right now, I'm not actively pursuing anything," Schottenheimer said. "I've refused to say never. That's been the position I've taken from the outset. I just think that's always been the best approach."

Family is a driving force for Schottenheimer, and he's been enjoying the past year with his grandchildren. Schottenheimer didn't coach last season after being fired by the San Diego Chargers following a 14-2 campaign due to a dysfunctional relationship with Chargers general manager A.J. Smith.

"My family is here in Charlotte, and we've got a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old," Schottenheimer said. "We're having a ball."

Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome huddled for a few hours at the team's training complex before Bisciotti and Cass departed at 5 p.m.

The Ravens are in a planning mode and didn't conduct any interviews, but Harbaugh or the Schottenheimers could be arriving in the next few days.

Harbaugh is regarded as a strong option for the Ravens, but the brother of Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh wasn't offered the job in the wake of Garrett spurning the AFC North club to remain in Dallas with a hefty raise and a promotion to assistant head coach.

"Everybody in the organization has been first-class," Harbaugh said Jan. 8 following his first interview with the Ravens. "It's been challenging, but it has been fun."

It's quite a contrast between Harbaugh, who has never been a head coach or a coordinator, and Schottenheimer, who has 21 NFL seasons and has coached in 18 playoff games with a 5-13 record. There is no self-imposed deadline to select a replacement for fired coach Brian Billick, according to team officials.

"We did negotiate with Jason Garrett to become our head coach," the Ravens said in a statement. "In the end, he decided to stay in Dallas. We're continuing our second round of interviews. We're excited with the candidates, and we're confident we will select the best head coach for the Ravens."

NOTES: Former Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan remains a strong candidate for the Atlanta Falcons' vacancy after two interviews, but they are opening up their search and he's no longer considered a lock to obtain a position that Garrett rejected. ... Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, who was the first candidate interviewed by the Ravens, withdrew his name from consideration for the Baltimore and Atlanta openings. He could replace coach Tony Dungy, who's contemplating retirement. He wasn't considered likely to land either job anyway.

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


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