For the Ravens, picking between wide receivers coach Jim Hostler and the Redskins’ former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan might seem like picking between Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. To me, it looks like they’re picking between a garbage can and even shiner garbage can, that they don’t know the contents of.
I could sit here all day and insult Hostler and Shananhanaman, but I want to show you why I don’t think this situation will work out for Ravens.
Let’s first examine Hostler’s resume — or lack thereof. For starters, you kind of feel bad when you land on his Wikipedia page, which is just two paragraphs and doesn’t even feature a picture of the poor guy, but it gets even worse when you realize that the second of those two paragraphs is an explanation of how bad he was at being the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers for ONE season.
This is the big point here, he’s only had one year of coordinating experience and that year he had the worst scoring offense in the league. While it is true the offense wasn’t loaded with talent, they still had running back Frank Gore, and former first round picks tight end Vernon Davis and quarterback Alex Smith. You may discredit those last two, but I will point out that there is and was a correct way to use them, Hostler didn’t find it, Jim Harbaugh did.
Now let’s move on to Hostler’s tenure with the Ravens. I would first like to argue the fact that even though his title is “wide receivers coach”; this isn’t a whole lot of coaching going on. His resume of wide recievers he’s coached includes, Mark Clayton, Yamon Figurs, Justin Harper, Marcus Smith, David Reed, and most recently Tommy Streeter. The only bright spots have been Torrey Smith (and hopefully Marlon Brown) — Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason do not count because by the time they made it to the Ravens, they were already veterans.
Considering his track record with the Ravens, I honestly don’t see how he’s being considered for a promotion. I can’t even understand how he still has a job. The more I write about Hostler, the angrier I get, it’s probably best if we move on.
Kyle Shanahan, or the shiner trashcan, would be my pick for offensive coordinator, but unfortunately, I don’t have a say in the matter. Shanahan served as an offensive coordinator with the Houston Texans from 2008 to 2009 and with the Washington Redskins from 2010 to 2013. I’m not going argue his abilities as an offensive coordinator, but I will gladly discuss how much the offenses he’s presided over reflect him.
This is my big problem with Shanahan; I don’t think anybody knows his abilities. The time he’s spent as an offensive coordinator, he’s served under two offensive-minded head coaches, Gary Kubiak and (Papa Bear) Mike Shanahan. I have a hard time believing that anytime a defensive or offensive coordinator is hired as a head coach, they just hand over their offense or defense to that coach; I’d like to think the head coach presides over the offense or defense and the coordinator acts as a figurehead.
If we want to judge him offenses however, it doesn’t get much better. With the Texans, his offenses were 17th and 10th in scoring (Note: The reason I keep using scoring instead of yards is because you can accumulate as many yards as you want, but if you don’t score you’re going to lose. See: 2010 San Diego Chargers) and with the Redskins his offenses rank 25th, 26th, 4th, and 23rd from 2010 to 2013 respectively. That’s not a rollercoaster I want any part of.
When I’m faced with a decision between two garbage cans, I’m normally going to go with the one that I kind of know the contents of. Hostler would be the wrong choice and I can already hear Ravens fans groaning if he ends up being the coordinator.
There is one thing fans need to take away from the whole situation, if the offense flops; the blame needs to shift to Harbaugh. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell were flops back-to-back, but if it happens again, it’s not a coincidence, it’s a pattern.
Personally, I believe the Ravens are making a bad decision either way, I think Rob Chudzinski would have been the best choice considering the options available because of how he and Cam Newton turned the Panthers from the 32nd ranked offense to the 2nd best offense in the league three seasons ago and has a proven track record as an offensive coordinator.
Ravens fans will get to hear the decision soon, some groaning one way, some groaning the other. They just have to hope the shinier trashcan prevails.
Image Credit: Infrogmation