While losing Caldwell as the head of the offense is far from the center of Baltimore's problems, finding a capable replacement is. The Ravens have already begun their search, but with little competition to fill their offensive coordinator position, they have the luxury of taking plenty of time in order to make the right choice.
Here are some top candidates to keep an eye on.
Recently fired by the Cleveland Browns after one year as head coach, Rob Chudzinski is a capable and viable option as an NFL offensive coordinator. It's what got him a head coaching job, and it's what will likely keep him employed in the NFL. Prior to being hired by the Browns, Chudzinski helped lead a top-ten NFL offense in Carolina in 2011, as well as the 12th-best offense in the NFL in 2012. He played an integral role in the development of Cam Newton, and could be just who Joe Flacco needs to bounce back after a disappointing 2013 season.
Perhaps the most ideal candidate, Kyle Shanahan fits what the Ravens need most: a young, innovative coach with zone-blocking experience and the resume to back up his success. At just 34, Shanahan has six NFL seasons as an offensive coordinator under his belt. In both Houston and Washington, he helped orchestrate zone-blocking schemes - the run scheme the Ravens used in 2013 - that were among the best in the NFL. He also helped lead Houston to the league's best passing offense in 2009, despite having Matt Schaub as the team's quarterback. His background is as a wide receiver during his playing days, and he worked as a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach prior to becoming an offensive coordinator in 2008. His football experience may be exactly what Baltimore needs. Shanahan also interviewed with the team on Wednesday.
While Shanahan would be a favorable candidate, perhaps the man who helped get him his first NFL offensive coordinator job - Gary Kubiak - could be just as good of a choice. The former Houston Texans head coach worked with Shanahan among others to make Houston's offense one of the most consistent in the NFL over the last decade. His work with zone blocking would be favorable for a run game in desperate need of help in that aspect. He was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 1995-2005. In that time, the Broncos led the NFL in both total yards and touchdowns.
Kyle Casey is a sports writer living in Baltimore, Md. He maintains his own draft site, Baltimore Ravens Draft, and contributes to Russell Street Report.
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