You typically think of offensive and defensive coordinators as head coaching candidates, but Harbaugh is a perfect example that special teams coordinators can be successful, and his success has opened eyes around the league. Former New England Patriots Head Coach Joe Judge got the head coaching gig with the New York Giants this offseason.
Horton is with a franchise that breeds special teams excellence. He’s got arguably the best kicking trio in Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, and Morgan Cox, who are also coached by one of the best in the business in Special Teams Coach Randy Brown.
Horton said the next step is improving the return game this season.
“We did a lot of studying this offseason, and that’s one area that we feel like we can be better in,” Horton said. “Whether it’s how we’re coaching it [or] how our players are responding to that coaching. That’s something we’ve felt like we could be much better [at]. I thought our coverage units were really sound outside of one game we had.”
It should also be mentioned that Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, the 2019 Assistant Coach of the Year, and Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale remain as very strong head coaching candidates. Both interviewed for openings this offseason.
Earl Thomas III and Chuck Clark Ranked Among Top Safety Tandems
Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters have been discussed as one of the NFL’s top cornerback tandems, but Pro Football Focus’ Solomon Wilcots showed some love to the Ravens’ safeties.
Wilcots named Earl Thomas III and Chuck Clark among his top safety tandems.
“With Thomas and Clark as their safety tandem, the Ravens lined up in either Cover 1 or Cover 0 on 45.5% of their 979 total defensive snaps,” Wilcots wrote. “Thomas aligned as the single-high safety in Cover 1, ending the regular season having allowed a passer rating of just 21.5 on throws into his primary coverage. This left Clark to rotate down into the box or the slot, where he earned the best coverage grade among safeties who played at least 100 such snaps.
“Clark … allowed 16 receptions from 19 targets in the box or the slot, but those catches only went for 94 yards. His 5.9 yards allowed per reception from such alignments ranked second among qualifying safeties, and only two of the catches he allowed went for a first down.”
According to OverTheCap, the Ravens have the second-most cap space invested in the defense this season ($83.5 million). They signed Thomas to a four-year, $55 million deal last March, and inked Clark to a three-year, $15 million extension this offseason.
The Ravens have made a concerted effort to shore up the secondary, and the group allowed just 207.2 passing yards last season.
Clark took over the starting strong safety job in Week 6 after Tony Jefferson suffered a season-ending knee injury. The former sixth-round pick assumed the “green dot” communications as the defense’s signal caller and never looked back.
With Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs as the biggest threat in the AFC, the Ravens have confidence in their safety tandem. The best part is, we haven’t even seen them together for a full season.
J.K. Dobbins Works Out With Dwayne Haskins
From Ohio State to just over an hour apart down the I-95 Beltway, J.K. Dobbins and Dwayne Haskins are linking up during an unusual offseason.
A tweet showed the former Buckeye teammates working out together over the weekend.