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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2. Ravens can hire former Commanders HC Ron Rivera

If the Ravens want to bet on experience, 62-year-old Ron Rivera is a strong option. He was recently dismissed after four disappointing seasons as head coach of the Washington Commanders. Before that, Rivera served nine years as a head coach staple for the Carolina Panthers. He brings perhaps the most extensive résumé of any viable D.C. candidate.

Rivera was up for the Philadelphia Eagles' D.C. job, but Vic Fangio took it. Now the Ravens are the most appealing gig on the marketplace. The chance to work alongside Harbaugh on the NFL's No. 1 seed won't be taken for granted. Rivera probably won't proliferate head coaching searches for a while after his Commanders' stint went sideways. Baltimore can hire Rivera with relative confidence that he will stick around for more than one season.

A two-time AP Coach of the Year, Rivera has shepherded some of the best defenses in recent history. He led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, but fell short. Prior to latching on with Carolina in 2011, Rivera split six years as defensive coordinator between Chicago and San Diego. He was a quality control and linebackers coach for seven years prior to that. Rivera has been poking around the NFL coaching sphere in some capacity since the 90s. That isn't inherently a positive, but if the Ravens don't hire from within, it makes sense to prioritize an established coach. Rivera offers a high floor and he has experience in the postseason.

This winter's coaching carousel has been completely bonkers. With so much emphasis placed on Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll and Mike Vrabel, a lot of folks have lost sight of how accomplished and widely respected Rivera is. He should be considered a prime candidate for the Ravens job.