The Baltimore Raven coaching staff in 2009 has some newly familiar faces in new places. For example, with the departure of Rex Ryan, Greg Mattison has taken over the defensive coordinator position.
Mattison, who joined the Ravens in 2008 as the linebacker coach, has spent upwards of 35 years coaching on the collegiate level. Before 2008 Mattison had no experience as a coach in the NFL. Now, Mattison takes over one of the best defenses in the NFL, and is heading a post that has seen all past coaches to fill it go on to be head coaches in the NFL.
Mattison has some experience with the defensive playbook that Rex Ryan used last year for the Ravens, including the wild blitzes and coverage schemes that stifled so many offenses. The big question will be, can Mattison bring his own aspect to the Raven defense and still keep the defense at the level it has performed at in the past?
On the offensive side of the ball, the Ravens still have Cam Cameron heading the charge. Cameron who like Mattison joined the Ravens in 2008, will be spending his second year as the Baltimore offensive coordinator.
After a good run as the Charger offensive coordinator, where he helped develop Philip Rivers and Drew Brees, Cameron got a shot to be the head coach of the Dolphins. But as quickly as he was in, he was out, and the Ravens took full advantage in putting him on the coaching staff.
Cameron who is known for developing quarterbacks into pro bowlers, will continue to work on his young superstar and fan favorite Joe Flacco. Flacco has been called the answer for Baltimore's drought of quarterbacks that has gone back to their very beginning as a team.
Cameron has brought an effective offense to the Ravens that has not been seen from them in a long time. He also meshes well with the Raven head coach and his good friend John Harbaugh.
John Harbaugh who like his coordinators will be starting his second year on the Raven's staff, is a young, creative coach who came over from Philadelphia in 2008. In his first season as the Raven head coach, the team went 11-5 in the regular season and made it to the AFC championship game, despite injuries to key players and a rookie quarterback.
Harbaugh is only the third head coach in Raven's history, and is very different from his predecessor Brian Billick. Unlike Billick, Harbaugh seems to be content with letting the offensive and defensive coordinators call the plays during the game.
Sure he will give some input, but he leaves the final decisions to his staff. He is mainly known for being a special teams coach in Philadelphia, and that seems to be the main area where the Ravens need to improve in 2009.
The Raven defense was great as always in 2008, and the offense seemed to really start working well together towards the end of the season, especially in the running game. It will be Harbaugh's job along with special teams coach Jerry Rosburg's to fix the one weak area of the Ravens.
Rosburg, who is also the assistant head coach, fills out the main four from the Raven coaching staff, and believe it or not he also joined the team in 2008. After a great run with the Browns where his special teams averaged being ranked first in the league over a five year period, he spent one very successful year with the Falcons before joining the Ravens.
Rosburg has consistently led his special teams to top ten rankings in the league, and that is what will be expected of him this year for the Ravens.
With this young group of coaches now having a year together under their belts, they will look to improve for 2009 in hopes of winning a Super Bowl championship.
We will have to see if the Raven defense can be the same with Mattison, if the offense can continue to improve as they did last year, and if the special teams can bring the Ravens the extra step that they need to reach a Super Bowl.
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