Ravens hire Matsko, Montgomery

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens hired veteran assistant John Matsko as offensive line coach and former NFL star Wilbert Montgomery as running backs coach Thursday. Matsko coached the Kansas City Chief's offensive line for the past two seasons.

"John is an old-school football coach, who, at the same time, is at the forefront of teaching offensive line play," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. "He's a leader and has a tremendous track record, but his forte has always been developing offensive linemen."

Matsko has coached in the NFL for 17 years with prior stints with the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals, and has been coaching for 35 years.

In Kansas City, he coached Pro Bowl guards Will Shields and Brian Waters.

With Matsko coaching the Chiefs they finished fifth in the AFC in rushing in 2006 as Larry Johnson rushed for 1,789 yards, but slumped this past season as Johnson battled several injuries.

"He brings a wealth of experience and success coaching in our offensive system," Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "He will do a great job with our offensive line as well as helping develop our young linemen."

During Matsko's seven years with the Rams, St. Louis had a prolific offense headlined by quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk.

In New Orleans, he coached Pro Bowl tackle Willie Roaf.

And at USC, Matsko helped develop future Jacksonville Jaguars All-Pro tackle Tony Boselli.

"I was amazed with the Ravens' facility, but more impressed with the quality of people in the building and their leadership," Matsko said. "I'm looking forward to working with our good mix of young talent and veterans on the offensive line."

Montgomery, a former Pro Bowl runner with the Philadelphia Eagles who coached the Detroit Lions' running backs last season following a nine-year tenure with the St. Louis Rams, has coached Faulk and Steven Jackson previously.

"We're excited to have him," Cameron said. "He has played and coached in our offensive system and has a tremendous amount of experience and expertise at the running back position. "He'll do a great job of developing all our running backs."

Montgomery is the Eagles' all-time leading rusher with 6,538 yards, gaining a franchise-record 1,512 yards in 1979.

"I couldn't be happier to be here with the Ravens and their winning tradition," Montgomery said. "I'm looking forward to a fresh start, fresh faces and a new outlook. I believe we will be an electrifying offense, and with our defense and special teams play, there will be some exciting football."

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

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