Ravens Promote LB Coach Don “Wink” Martindale to Be the Teams’ New Defensive Coordinator

Continuing the Ravens pattern of elevating position coaches into the role, coach John Harbaugh has promoted linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale to fill the defensive coordinator vacancy created with last week’s retirement of Dean Pees, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“’Wink’ has earned the promotion to defensive coordinator,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. “His aggressive mentality will serve to take our defense to new levels. He is obviously respected by players, many of whom have already benefited from his direct coaching at the linebacker position. He knows the ins and outs of what we have been about on defense and has been an important contributor to our success on that side of the ball. This is an exciting da for Wink and his family, and also one for the Ravens.”

The decision comes after Harbaugh had spoken to several high-profile candidates, including former Ravens defensive coordinator and Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. It was widely believed Pagano, who ran the Ravens defense in 2011, was one of Harbaugh’s top candidates. However, it never was certain that Pagano would want to jump immediately back into coaching after he was fired by the Colts last week after his sixth season at the helm.

Martindale, 54, has been on Harbaugh’s staff as a position coach since the team’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2012 and has been instrumental in the development of young linebackers C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr and Matthew Judon. Orr, who was forced into retirement because of a congenital neck/spine condition and worked with Martindale in coaching the team’s linebackers this past season, said last year that Martindale is one of the best teachers the Ravens have in the organization.

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh Not Committing to Alex Collins as Lead Back in 2018

Running back Alex Collins proved to be the biggest surprise of the Ravens this season, going from the practice squad in Week 1 to the NFL’s 11th-leading rusher.

But Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal when asked whether Collins earned the right to be the starter for next season or if Baltimore will look to upgrade, Jamison Hensley of ESPN reports.

“I’m looking to upgrade everything. You know that’s how I’m going to answer the question,” Harbaugh said. “Alex Collins has proven the fact that he can be a very good back in this league.”

Collins became the Ravens’ offensive most valuable player, producing big plays with his aggressive running and elusiveness. After getting cut by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the preseason, Collins signed with Baltimore’s practice squad, took over the starting job for good by Week 7 and ran for 973 yards, outgaining Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde and Marshawn Lynch.

He was one of the few consistent playmakers for Baltimore and kept the Ravens in the season finale. In the third quarter, Collins looked like he was being stopped on fourth-and-3 on the left side of the field before reversing his direction to the right and scoring a 17-yard touchdown.

Ravens Hire Bengals WR Coach James Urban as New QB Coach

A day after acknowledging that he was “working through” the possible hiring of a coach to work directly with quarterback Joe Flacco, Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Friday that he has added James Urban to his staff, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

Urban, 44, spent the past seven seasons as the wide receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.

He also was an assistant for Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2004 to 2010, where he worked alongside Harbaugh and current Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Mornhinweg has been Flacco’s quarterbacks coach since 2016, but now he can focus solely on his offensive coordinator duties.

“Playing the Bengals twice a year, we’ve seen what a good job James does,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. “He’s highly regarded around the league, including by [general manager Ozzie Newsome] and Marty. We were all excited when he became available.”

Could the Ravens Lose Ssenior Offensive Assistant Greg Roman This Offseason?

Greg Roman was a big reason the Ravens run game got turned back around in 2017, but it sounds like he might not be around in 2018 as he’s free to go to any team that might want him.

The Baltimore Ravens are keeping Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator, but the team is unsure whether it will be able to keep senior offensive assistant Greg Roman after he helped fix the running game.

Roman can go anywhere, possibly as an offensive coordinator, after completing his one-year contract with Baltimore. He made a major impact in his first season with the Ravens, who went from No. 28 to No. 11 in the NFL in rushing.

Roman’s reputation has been built on fixing offenses that struggle to grind out yards on the ground. In 2011, in Roman’s first season as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator, the 49ers went from No. 19 in NFL rushing to No. 8. In 2015, the Bills’ run offense jumped from No. 25 to No. 1 in Roman’s first year as the play-caller, improving by a whopping 59.4 yards per game.

This season, Roman took over a Ravens rushing attack that in 2015 and 2016 averaged 91.9 yards per game in those two seasons combined. Only the Chargers and Lions averaged fewer yards over that span.

John Harbaugh Not Happy About Ravens Game Being Moved From 1pm Sunday

The Ravens learned late Sunday that their regular-season finale against the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium was moved from a 1 p.m. start to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff. Coach John Harbaugh is not pleased with the change, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.

“I don’t think the NFL did us any favors by moving it back, but they don’t care about us,” Harbaugh said. “So we’ve just got to care about ourselves and take care of our own business. I think that goes for our team and our fans and our city. Let’s go win the football game. It’s going to take a 100 percent effort, it’s going to take everything we’ve got to win this football game. That’s what we plan on getting ready to do, and we’d sure like to have our crowd out there helping us.”

“I’m sure they have New Year’s Eve plans,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know what the considerations are with the league office or why they do what they do, and I really don’t care other than the fact that I hope our fans are OK with it. I hope they’re into it, I hope people get there. The people that have plans, I hope they give their tickets to somebody else so they get there. I want the place to be packed. I want the place to be packed and loud.”

Ravens Work Out Free Agent Wide Out Jeremy Kerley

Free agent wide receiver Jeremy Kerley worked out for the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The 29-year-old Kerley was waived by the New York Jets on December 8 just as he completed a four-game ban for the use of PEDs. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Jets in 2011 out of TCU, Kerley has spent most of his seven-year NFL career with Gang Green, although he did play for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 season. Primarily a possession receiver, Kerley could provide a sure pair of hands for a Ravens team entering the playoffs with a woefully thin receiving corps.

Ravens Likely to Be Without WR Jeremy Maclin for Saturday’s Game vs Colts

The Ravens will likely be without Jeremy Maclin, their second-leading wide receiver, for Saturday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.

Maclin was listed as doubtful Thursday with a knee injury after not practicing this week. Maclin, who is second among Baltimore wide receivers with 40 catches for 440 yards, was knocked out of last Sunday’s game after injuring his knee and didn’t return.

Chris Moore would replace Maclin in the starting lineup against Indianapolis, which ranks No. 30 in pass defense. Moore has shown flashes this season, catching 15 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Colts vs Ravens Wednesday Injury Report

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Tuesday T Denzelle Good (knee), WR Donte Moncrief (ankle), TE Brandon Williams (concussion)
  Wednesday T Denzelle Good (knee), RB Frank Gore (not injury related), DT Johnathan Hankins (shoulder), WR Donte Moncrief (ankle), TE Brandon Williams (concussion)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Tuesday CB Rashaan Melvin (hand)
  Wednesday CB Rashaan Melvin (hand)
 
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Tuesday TE Darrell Daniels (hamstring), LB Jeremiah George (neck), CB Nate Hairston (concussion)
  Wednesday TE Darrell Daniels (hamstring), LB Jeremiah George (neck), CB Nate Hairston (concussion)
 
BALTIMORE RAVENS (Baltimore conducted a walk-through on Tuesday. The Tuesday practice report is an estimation.)
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Tuesday WR Jeremy Maclin (knee)
  Wednesday WR Jeremy Maclin (knee)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Tuesday CB Maurice Canady (knee), DT Carl Davis (shoulder), S Anthony Levine (thigh)
  Wednesday CB Maurice Canady (knee), DT Carl Davis (shoulder), LB Matt Judon (illness), S Anthony Levine (thigh)