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7 realistic DC candidates options for Ravens after Mike Macdonald lands Seahawks HC job

The Ravens are one of the gold-standard organizations in the NFL, and every few years, teams from around the NFL poach personnel from Eric DeCosta’s front office and John Harbaugh’s coaching staff.

Another coaching cycle has seen two front office personnel exit, along with defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.

After landing Joe Hortiz (Player Personnel Director), the Chargers hired Baltimore’s player evaluation and analytics manager, Corey Krawiec, for a position.

On Wednesday, the Titans hired Dennard Wilson as their defensive coordinator hours after Macdonald arrived in Seattle to be officially introduced as the new head coach.

The Ravens became the first team in NFL history to lead the league in points allowed (16.5 per game), sacks (60) and turnovers (31).

In his second year calling Baltimore’s defense, he led them to the AFC title game before a shocking 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday;

Macdonald’s defense allowed two early touchdown drives but only a field goal over the final 40-plus minutes of the game.

With Baltimore needing to regroup again, we’re looking at seven realistic options to replace Macdonald.

Zach Orr --Ravens inside linebackers coach

Orr is a fast-rising star in the coaching ranks, and recently interviewed for the Packers defensive coordinator position.

The 31-year-old Orr has been on the Ravens staff since 2017 and spent one season with the Jaguars and Urban Meyer in 2021.

An undrafted player from North Texas, Orr was an inside linebacker with the Ravens for three seasons (2014-16) before he was forced to retire due to a neck/spine condition. During his final season in 2016, Orr had his best year and became a starter with 133 tackles, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries.

Anthony Weaver--Ravens assistant head coach/defensive line coach

Weaver, 43, was a finalist for the Ravens’ defensive coordinator job that went to Macdonald in 2022.

Weaver joined the Ravens staff in 2021 after previously coaching with the Texans, Browns, Bills, and Jets, following a seven-year NFL career spent with Houston and Baltimore.

Weaver played for the Texans and Ravens during his seven years as an NFL pass rusher.

Chris Hewitt --Ravens defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach

The 49-year-old Hewitt has been with the Ravens since their Super Bowl season in 2012, starting as an assistant special teams coach. Hewitt has worked with the team’s defensive backs since 2015 and got pass game coordinator added to his title in 2020. He recently interviewed for the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator vacancy and good be the guy thanks to Baltimore’s stout pass defense.

Leslie Frazier, ex-Bills defensive coordinator

Jan 15, 2023; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier looks on before playing against the Miami Dolphins in a NFL wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2023; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier looks on before playing against the Miami Dolphins in a NFL wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Frazier was a finalist for the Giants’ head coaching job that went to Brian Daboll and he was successful as the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills.

His Bills defense was a top-five unit in each of his final three seasons.

Ejiro Evero, Panthers defensive coordinator

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 25: Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero looks on during the second quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium on August 25, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 25: Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero looks on during the second quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium on August 25, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Carolina had the worst team in the league in 2023, but Evero turned the Panthers’ defense into a solid unit. This season, Evero’s defense ranks third in the league in passing yards allowed, sixth in passing touchdowns, and third in total yards allowed. That carries over from when he was the defensive coordinator in Denver in 2022, where his unit ranked seventh in the league in total yards allowed.

Evero, 43, led the Broncos’ top-10 defense during the 2022 NFL season despite having to support one of the league’s weakest offenses.

Al Holcomb, Bills defensive assistant

Dec 23, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Al Holcomb against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 23, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Al Holcomb against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 52-year-old was most recently the interim special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Holcomb had two stints in Carolina. The first was from 2013-2017 during McDermott’s tenure as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. During that time, Holcomb was the team’s linebackers coach.

Jim Leonhard

Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard prior to the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard prior to the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Current title: Senior football analyst, Illinois (2023)

Prior experience: Wisconsin defensive backs coach (2016), Wisconsin defensive coordinator & defensive backs coach (2017-2022) and Wisconsin interim head coach (2022).

Mike Pettine

Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine its shown before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL<br>Packers21 5 Hoffman
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine its shown before their game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, October 21, 2019 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
Packers21 5 Hoffman

Current title: Assistant head coach, Minnesota Vikings (2022-)

Prior experience: Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker coach (2005-2008), New York Jets defensive coordinator (2009-2012), Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator (2013), Cleveland Browns head coach (2014-2015) and Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator (2018-2020).

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire