Brooks, Pettine staying with Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan won't be the only familiar face on the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff next season as Clarence Brooks was retained as defensive line coach Monday.

Brooks has coached the Ravens' defensive line for the past three years, overseeing the development of promising defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and working with accomplished veterans in nose guard Kelly Gregg and defensive end Trevor Pryce.

"Clarence Brooks is going to be on board, and everyone knows what a great job he's done here," new Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's a great coach and a great guy."

Plus, the team plans to keep Mike Pettine as a linebackers coach. Pettine coached the outside linebackers for the past three seasons, including Pro Bowl selections Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas.

Ryan has long described Pettine, a former Pennsylvania high school coach who specializes in innovative computer programs to analyze game video, as his right-hand man.

"Mike is a rising star in this game, and we're really proud and fortunate to be able to keep Mike," Ryan said.

Harbaugh said that the team is closing in on hiring a special-teams coordinator. Incumbent Frank Gansz has been praised repeatedly by Harbaugh since he was hired and is a potential option.

Ryan indicated that there will likely be other holdovers from former coach Brian Billlick's staff.

With the retention of Ryan to coach the defense and the addition of former Miami Dolphins coach Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator, Harbaugh is enthused about the staff he's putting together.

"You could argue they are the best two coordinators in the NFL," Harbaugh said. "I'm looking forward to the spring practices here and seeing these two guys square off. It's going to be fun to watch."

NOTES: Ryan became the second member of the organization to defend middle linebacker Ray Lewis. Unprompted during Harbaugh's introductory news conference, team owner Steve Bisciotti refuted reports that Lewis is a disruptive force who undermined Billick.

"Just knowing Ray, Ray is the most passionate person I've ever been around," Ryan said. "All he wants is what's best for the football team. He tries to lead our defense every week. He leads younger players, whether they're offense or defense. This is a once-in-a-lifetime player, so we're very fortunate to have him." …

The Ravens signed a four-year contract extension with WBAL as the team's flagship radio partner, running through 2011. Plus, WBAL-TV will now air the Ravens' preseason games in a shift from FOX-45 and will add Ravens-related television shows.

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


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