Reports surfaced this week that Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald would be a favorite to become the Baltimore Ravens next DC, and then The Wolverine’s Chris Balas stated that the deal between Baltimore and Macdonald was expected to come to fruition by the end of the week.
Late on Thursday night, the Ravens made it official.
“Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through,” Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “During his initial seven seasons with us, it was evident that his leadership, intelligence and passion would earn him the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Mike has continuously proven himself, including when he led one of the country’s best defenses at Michigan last year. He is a proven play-caller who knows our system well. He also fully understands the standard of playing defense in Baltimore.”
Ironically enough, John Harbaugh was the one who recommended Macdonald to his brother, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh — he told Jim that Macdonald was likely next in line to be defensive coordinator for the Ravens when Wink Martindale retired. However, things changed in a hurry for both Macdonald and Martindale. Macdonald turned Michigan’s defense into one of the better units in the nation, and Martindale’s Ravens defense had a multitude of injuries and really scuffled the final half of the season. Martindale was fired earlier this month, something that was quite unexpected a year ago.
Macdonald heads back to a team where he knows a lot of the players and most of the staff — and while he knows what the Ravens scheme was under Martindale, he’ll surely add his own wrinkles and stamp on that side of the ball.
The Ravens giveth, the Ravens taketh away. Congratulations to Mike Macdonald on an incredible 2021 season with Michigan — we at Maize n Brew wish him nothing but the best as he heads back to the NFL.