Per a report from The Wolverine’s Chris Balas, Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald is set to become the next Baltimore Ravens DC.
“Barring a change of heart or an 11th-hour event, Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will return to Baltimore to be the Ravens’ D.C,” Balas reported. “Several sources have indicated Macdonald has spoken with Ravens coach John Harbaugh about an opening on his staff. Harbaugh released last year’s coordinator, Wink Martindale, in the offseason. He’s also closing in on an extension that will keep him in Baltimore through the mid-2020s.”
On Tuesday the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston reported that the Ravens were expected to talk with Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line coach Joe Cullen and have interest in Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell. Preston also called Ravens d-line coach Anthony Weaver and Macdonald as the favorites for the vacant defensive coordinator position.
Macdonald was on the Ravens staff from 2014-2020, serving as linebackers coach his last three years in Baltimore. As I said in a previous article, relationships matter and there’s no doubt Macdonald was well liked during his previous time in Baltimore.
Michigan’s defense often dominated throughout the 2021 season — Macdonald’s rise was swift. Wink Martindale was respected, his firing was something that wasn’t expected before the season began. Macdonald succeeding at a high clip right away, showing a scheme that was unpredictable in coverages and disguised them well, these are things that undoubtedly impressed the Ravens.
Michigan players really liked Macdonald, he taught schematics in a digestible form that resonated. Michigan finished the season 20th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense, results that don’t happen often in Year 1 for a new defensive coordinator.
“When I was looking to hire a defensive coordinator, back in January, reached out to a lot of football people and reached out to my brother (Ravens head coach John Harbaugh). He recommended Mike,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said in December. “The greatest impact he’s had on our team is he’s really smart, a really good teacher, brings a lot of energy, brings a lot of intelligence. Great communicator — all those things. Guys love playing for him. Really stimulated by all the football situations, by all the football knowledge. I see our guys really into it. It’s been that way since day one. Other thing I would say about Mike, too: thing that makes him really, really great is he is a team guy. He is all about the team. All about complementary football, all about any situation that comes up, what’s best for the team.”
Macdonald now has play-calling experience, a year of being the head man on the defensive side of the ball — he’s earned the privilege of becoming a coordinator in the NFL. The 34 year old Macdonald’s career is just starting, and his resume has a good chance of becoming a lot more impressive as time goes by.