Last year, the Baltimore Ravens proved they were a well-coached team. Head coach John Harbaugh led the team to a solid 11-5 record and AFC Championship Game appearance. Let's profile that coaching staff, shall we?
Head coach John Harbaugh: On Jan. 19, 2008, the Baltimore Ravens found their third head coach in franchise history—John Harbaugh. Harbaugh, 46, starred as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1998 to 2007 under his mentor, Andy Reid.
Harbaugh comes from a football family. Born on Sept. 23, 1962, in Toledo, Ohio, John had to get used to football early. When he graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, his dad was an assistant head coach at the University of Michigan under the legendary Bo Schembechler. But John knew he could play.
John went on to play for the University of Miami as a defensive back. While he didn't get the attention to play in the National Football League, he knew where his future was - coaching.
From 1984 to 1986, he didn't stray far away from home, serving as a running backs and linebackers coach for Western Michigan University. From 1987 to 1997, John found jobs wherever he could, whether it be at universities like Pittsburgh, Morehead State, Cincinnati, or Indiana.
He did a stellar job for Indiana, a job so well done he landed a job with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he would finally find some stability, remaining on the coaching staff for a decade.
During his tenure, 15 Eagles won Special Teams Player of The Week awards, Reno Mahe led the league in punt return average (12.8) in 2005, and three Eagles special teamers (LS Mike Bartrum, K David Akers, and LB Ike Reese) earned Pro Bowl berths.
Harbaugh turned countless undrafted free agents into good players, including P Dirk Johnson and K David Akers. Harbaugh did a good job last year putting his players in a position to win, challenging calls, and helping his troops rebound after tough losses.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: The Ravens rebuilt their coaching staff last season, and arguably the best hire was when the team added offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Cameron was born in the same town that Hall of Fame pitcher Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown originated from (Terre Haute, IN).
Cameron was a two sport star at Terre Haute South Vigo High, was an All-American quarterback as a senior, and also made All State twice. He was also a star on the hardwood, leading the basketball team to three state championships. As you could imagine, he fielded numerous scholarship offers.
Cam decided to stay local, committing to the University of Indiana. Unfortunately, he injured his knee during his senior season, ending his playing career.
Like Harbaugh, Cameron knew his future wasn't on the field—it was on the sidelines—as a coach. In 1983 and 1984, Cameron spent his time as a graduate assistant to Michigan's Bo Schembechler—at the age of 22 and 23, respectively. He earned some respect around campus and fellow coaches knew he had a profound knowledge of the game, and he was the quarterbacks coach at Michigan from 1985 to 1993.
He coached several future NFL players, including Amani Toomer and Derrick Alexander. In 1994, his NFL coaching career began. Because of his ability to produce good quarterbacks at Michigan, he became the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins, where he developed future Pro Bowler Gus Frerotte and a star in the making in Trent Green.
After leaving Washington, Cameron had to find a job. It didn't take him long, as he came back home to Indiana, becoming the head coach for the University of Indiana's football team.
He again showed his offensive prowess, as he developed Antwaan Randle El into a solid player, and the Hoosiers averaged 435.3 yards per game in 55 contests. However, most importantly, the Hoosiers were just 18-37 during his tenure, and he returned to the NFL in 2002.
The San Diego Chargers knew that Cameron was an offensive genius, so they decided to hire him—wisely, as an offensive coordinator. From 2002 to 2006, Cameron worked wonders for the Chargers offense, developing future stars like Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, and Philip Rivers. In 2004, just Cameron's third year in San Diego, the Chargers scored 446 points, which was third in the NFL.
But Cameron was not a one year wonder. In 2005, the Chargers were fifth in the league in scoring, and in 2006, running back LaDainian Tomlinson broke the rushing touchdown record and Philip Rivers won 14 of his 16 starts. However, the Chargers weren't able to extend him, and Cameron left for the Miami Dolphins, where he became a head coach.
Miami knew he struggled at Indiana as the head man, so they were taking a risk. It was a high risk, high reward deal. In Cameron's first and last year with the Dolphins, he had one win and 15 losses.
However, it didn't take him long to find work - with the Baltimore Ravens—as an offensive coordinator. Cameron played a key role in developing Joe Flacco, Le'Ron McClain, and Ray Rice. He does a tremendous job at not putting his players in uncomfortable situations and setting them up for success.
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison: The Ravens suffered a big loss moments after the AFC Championship letdown when defensive coordinator Rex Ryan left Baltimore to become the head coach of the New York Jets. The Ravens knew there aren't guys like Rex Ryan floating around looking for work.
So, the Ravens decided to promote from within, making linebackers coach Greg Mattison the new defensive coordinator. Mattison was born in, ironically enough, Madison, Wisconsin on Nov. 15, 1949.
He attended Madison East High School from 1963-1966, and instead of going to a big name school, he attended Wisconsin-La Crosse University, where he played football and wrestled. Mattison graduated in 1971, and immediately got into coaching, and again, didn't stray far away from home.
Mattison coached at Riverdale High School in Wisconsin from 1971 to 1973 before finding another job at Logan High in 1974 and 1975. The next year, 1976, was a truly pivotal year for Mattison. He got into the college ranks, where he truly made a name for himself.
He was a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois, and then his career skyrocketed. After coaching the defensive line at Cornell (1977), and Northwestern (1978-80), he had an enjoyable stay at Western Michigan as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Not only did he have success, it was the first time he really stayed anywhere for longer than three seasons. However, he was shown the door and moved on to become an assistant for the Navy.
From 1989 to 1998, every team he coached went to a Bowl game. In 1991, his Texas A&M Aggies had the best defensive line unit in the nation (222.4 yards allowed per game).
Over the decade, he coached at football schools with tradition, like A&M, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He even oversaw the development of current superstar Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. Mattison is rumored to be even more aggressive with blitzing schemes than Rex Ryan, which is hard to imagine.
Special Teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg: One of the other fairly new Ravens coaches is Special Teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg. Rosburg was born on Nov. 24, 1955, in Fairmont, Minnesota. He attended Fairmont High and emerged as a great linebacker and fielded many scholarship offers, but decided to commit to North Dakota State.
There, he was an All American linebacker, but didn't get any NFL interest, so he did what Cameron, Harbaugh, and Mattison did—coach. Rosburg's first job as a coach was as an assistant for Fargo Shanley High School in Idaho. He didn't stay there for very long.
In fact, he stayed from just 1979-80. The Minnesota native then took a job as an assistant at Northern Michigan University, and earned his degree there in education administration.
Rosburg strayed from job to job throughout the years, including a stint as a head coach at Western Michigan, four years at the University of Cincinnati, a year at the University of Minnesota, and two more campaigns for Boston College. He always seemed to have moderate success, but never seemed to be able to stick in one place for several years.
That was until he landed a job with the Cleveland Browns and stayed there for six years. The Browns had an elite special teams game under Rosburg, who can be credited for developing Josh Cribbs into an elite kick returner. During his tenure in Cleveland, Rosburg's unit was consistently near the top in the NFL in special teams. After spending 2007 with the Falcons, he reunited with Harbaugh.
Being that Harbaugh was a special teams coordinator in Philadelphia, he definitely would want to find an effective coach to run the Ravens special teams.
That's when he found Rosburg, a guy who coached with Harbaugh at Cincinnati, and Western Michigan. Rosburg was promoted to Assistant Head Coach when Rex Ryan departed for the Big Apple. Rosburg did a good job last year with the Ravens, and can be credited for the great job Sam Koch did punting the ball in 2008.
The Ravens have a solid staff of guys who aren't experienced, but proved last season that they can handle the wear-and-tear of an NFL season.