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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1. Ravens can hire former Titans HC Mike Vrabel

All signs point to Mike Vrabel missing out on the 2024 coaching cycle. He has the stature to take a gap year and try again in 2025, but Vrabel could seek a coordinator job to revive his reputation. His Tennessee Titans stint ended with consecutive losing seasons while his relationship to upper management deteriorated. It's only a matter of time until Vrabel is a head coach again, but right now, he is most likely in prove-it mode.

Vrabel won't take any run-of-the-mill coordinator job, but the opportunity to share the sideline with Harbaugh on the NFL's top seed is tantalizing. Vrabel is an established leader of men. He's the perfect Patriots offshoot — a three-time Super Bowl champion as a player who synthesized years of Belichick's coaching into a strict, but not militaristic approach. His players loved him. He put Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game with Ryan Tannehill at QB. Those defenses were next level.

In six seasons as Tennessee's head coach, Vrabel went 54-45. He won AP Coach of the Year in 2021. Beforehand, he served as Houston's defensive coordinator in 2017. Vrabel spent 14 decorated seasons in the NFL as a player, including an All-Pro and Pro Bowl berth at linebacker. He can relate to players on the elemental level only former players can, but he's also a proven schematic mind and game-manager.

It's frankly wild that Vrabel did not immediately pick up a new head coaching job. It will probably take teams a year or two to catch up and realize what a mistake that is. Until then, Baltimore can plant Vrabel on the sideline and mount another deep postseason run.

Next. 4 Ravens free agents Mike Macdonald can bring to Seahawks. 4 Ravens free agents Mike Macdonald can bring to Seahawks. dark