Ravens hire Jackson, Moeller

OWINGS MILLS -- As the Baltimore Ravens' new quarterbacks coach, Hue Jackson inherits the pivotal task of overseeing a position in flux. The Ravens have yet to publicly commit to a starter for next season from a group that includes injury-plagued, four-time Pro Bowl selection Steve McNair, inconsistent former starter Kyle Boller and former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.

A former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator and Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach, Jackson was hired Tuesday by new coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens also hired Andy Moeller, a former University of Michigan offensive line coach, as assistant offensive line coach to work under new offensive line coach John Matsko.

"One of the main attributes we're looking for in assembling this staff is great communication," Harbaugh said in a statement. "Hue Jackson has that. He's known for getting the players' attention and taking them to a higher level of play. His experience at coordinating, both in the NFL and in college, adds some real strength to our offensive group."

An eight-year NFL assistant, Jackson coached in Atlanta for one season as the Falcons finished 23rd in total offense (301.0 yards, 18th in passing offense (206.0) and 29th in points (16.2 per contest).

The Falcons faced adversity all season as quarterback Michael Vick was suspended, convicted and jailed on federal dogfighting charges. The instability extended to Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich and Chris Redman, who combined for 18 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

Impressively, though, former Ravens quarterback Chris Redman had the best season of his NFL career with 10 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 90.4 quarterback rating.

Jackson, who was an offensive coordinator for one season with the Washington Redskins in 2003 under Steve Spurrier, also led offenses in the college ranks at USC (1997 to 2000) and Cal (1996). At USC, he coached future Bengals All-Pro quarterback Carson Palmer.

With Jackson coaching the Bengals' receivers from 2004 to 2006, Pro Bowl wideouts Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh set several receiving records. In 2006, they combined for 2,450 receiving yards after totaling 175 catches for 2,388 yards in 2005.

"The opportunity to work with John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron was an ideal situation for me," Jackson said.

"Coach Harbaugh's attention to detail, his fiery style and his leadership make him someone you love to follow into battle. Coach Cameron has put together many great offenses, and working with him give me more of an opportunity to grow as a football coach."

The son of former Michigan coach Gary Moeller, Moeller coached the Michigan offensive line for the past six years, including All-American offensive tackle Jake Long, a projected top 10 selection in this spring's draft.

A former All-Big Ten linebacker, Moeller attended the same high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., as Harbaugh.

"His production with the offensive line at Michigan speaks for itself, both in the way that group consistently played at a high level and in the number of NFL players graduating from his teaching," Harbaugh said. "His players were always tough, physical and smart in the Michigan tradition."

NOTE: Former Ravens running backs coach Tony Nathan was hired in the same capacity by the San Francisco 49ers.

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

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