Harbaugh issues statement about Ravens’ search for new offensive coordinator

One day after seeing offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell leave the Ravens to become the Lions’ new head coach, John Harbaugh issued a statement about the team’s upcoming search for a replacement.

The Baltimore coach said the team won’t be limiting where it looks for its third offensive coordinator in three seasons.

“We will be interviewing coaches inside and outside of the building,” Harbaugh said. “We’re confident that whether we select someone currently on our staff or from another team, we will have a coach that best fits what we want to be, where we want to go and understands what Ravens football is all about.

“I have a profile in mind, and we are excited about the coaches who have shown interest in the job. One of the positives with the change is that we’re reminded that this franchise - and team - is attractive to many in the profession. We will have a coaching staff that will get the most out of our players.”

Among the available external candidates mentioned in rumors are Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.

The most commonly mentioned internal candidate has been wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, who served as 49ers offensive coordinator in 2007.

Along with the comments regarding the search for Caldwell’s replacement, general manager Ozzie Newsome, quarterback Joe Flacco and Harbaugh all issued statements about the departing offensive coordinator.

“We are all so happy for Jim. He deserves this opportunity, and I congratulate the Lions for selecting him,” Harbaugh said. “We’re disappointed that we’ve lost Jim. We were looking forward to making progress on offense with Jim leading the charge as coordinator. Jim is a teacher, he is honorable, he is a respected leader, and every person with the Ravens will miss him. Players and assistants respond to him. You understand why he was named Detroit’s head coach and why all the other teams had him among the finalists.”

Newsome expressed that he holds Caldwell in the highest esteem.

“I believe it would be difficult to find anyone with the Ravens who is more respected than Jim Caldwell. That includes players, coaches and other staff members,” Newsome said. “He earned that because of the person he is and his extensive knowledge about football, including the keys to winning and his ability to teach all of that. Personally, it is a privilege to know him, and it was an honor to work with him.

“We put Jim in a difficult position a year ago when we named him offensive coordinator late in the season. All he did was help us turn our offense around, and we won the Super Bowl. He has many strengths, but one that is sometimes overlooked is his ability to bring a coaching staff together. He has already succeeded as a head coach, and he will again in Detroit.”

Flacco shared similar feelings about Caldwell, who spent two seasons with the Ravens as quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator.

“I enjoyed my time with Jim greatly. He is a man that I will always respect as a football coach, leader and a friend,” Flacco said. “Through his calming influence and extensive knowledge of the game, he was an integral part of our success over the past few years. He will be missed by me and the Ravens. I wish him the best of luck in Detroit.”