4 Mike Macdonald replacements the Ravens need for another playoff run

The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a new defensive coordinator. A few appealing options exist.

John Harbaugh, Mike Vrabel
John Harbaugh, Mike Vrabel / George Walker IV / Tennessean.com
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The Seattle Seahawks are going from the oldest NFL head coach to the youngest, hiring 36-year-old Mike Macdonald away from the Baltimore Ravens. Macdonald served as John Harbaugh's defensive coordinator for two years. He previously served as an intern and secondary coach for Baltimore from 2014-20. In 2021, Macdonald was named Michigan's defensive coordinator, working under Jim Harbaugh.

Baltimore will sorely miss Macdonald, who constructed one of the best defenses in recent NFL history for the 13-4 Ravens. His connection to both Harbaugh brothers is surely viewed by the Seahawks as favorable. Greatness breeds greatness. Macdonald has been working hand-in-hand with two of the top coaches in all of football for a decade.

The Seahawks will look for Macdonald to bring a fresh perspective after Pete Carroll's historic tenure ran its course. The Ravens, meanwhile, need to avoid a severe dropoff in production from their defense. Macdonald will not be easy to replace, but several quality replacement options exist. Harbaugh is a widely respected coach and he should have significant pull recruiting for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

4. Ravens can promote DL coach Anthony Weaver

There's a strong case for Baltimore to hire from within. Anthony Weaver has served as Baltimore's associate head coach for two years now and he's in charge of the defensive line. Prior to signing on with the Ravens, he served as the Houston Texans' defensive coordinator in 2020.

Weaver understands Baltimore's scheme and personnel. He can run a similar setup and avoid fixing what isn't broken. The Ravens are knocking on the door to Super Bowl contention. Last season, the defense blanketed even the NFL's top offenses. Harbaugh would give Weaver the freedom to implement his own principles, but maintaining as much continuity as possible is a smart approach for a team within striking distance of the ultimate glory.

A former player, Weaver spent four of his seven NFL seasons with Baltimore. He has put in the time, earning interviews for other D.C. jobs around the league. Now, the Ravens can ensure that he sticks around — at least for now — with a well-deserved promotion.

There are certainly flashier and more "qualified" names out there, but Weaver has learned from Macdonald, Harbaugh, and some of the best coaches in the world. One has to believe he would keep the Ravens' top-ranked defense afloat.